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YOUTH: Confidence and belief

10 April 2014

Chris Blake with Accrington game reaction

Professional Development Phase Coach Chris Blake gave us his reaction to the 2-1 win over Accrington Stanley on Tuesday.

“It’s always a good challenge to play against Accrington because we know what they’re about,” he said. “We know what we’re up against so the lads have done really well. 

“We thought long and hard about how we would approach the game and the lads have gone into the dressing room absolutely delighted that they have picked up another win. It’s one where they got in front, and we had to turn it round, so we’re very happy with the way it went.”

“That’s the second game in a row where we have had to come from behind and I suppose, ideally, you wouldn’t want to be in that situation in the first place,” he added. “It’s a skill you have to have in football because what you can’t do is let heads drop. They’re showing a bit of resilience at the moment and it’s good to see.

“Another thing to their credit is that they had to wait a long time for the equaliser to come. We talked to them before the game about not getting frustrated because Accrington tend to drop off and make it hard to play. 

“They are very difficult to play against and they get a lot of success by doing things in a very specific way. It comes down to having the confidence and belief in what you’re doing and, if you maintain that, you give yourselves a chance of getting a result. 

“We reminded them of that at half time and we spoke about the need to keep playing the game the way we wanted to. They needed to move the ball quicker, and they gave us that, and eventually that got them the result.”

“There was a little bit added to the game today because the first team management staff came up to watch it,” he said. “The manager shared a few of his thoughts and I think the lads really appreciated that. They see first hand his enthusiasm for the game and they know he wants to see development at all levels. So, to have him point a few things out meant a lot because it helps us to highlight what the expectations and standards are right through the club.”

“Overall we created a lot of chances and I thought it was the right end result,” he insisted. “Ellis Pearson celebrated like he’d just scored a cup final winner, but so he should. He came on as a sub and he made a real impact. The move for his goal was great to watch so the whole team should be chuffed with it. 

“It all came together with the winner from Jason Blackburn to give the lads their fifth win in a row. They’ve got the consistency we’ve been asking for and I think there’s a confidence element in there. It’s something they’ve had to work hard for and it’s paying off for them. Having said that, the result is important but our main aim is to make sure they are always developing as players. 

“They’ve set a standard now and we want them to maintain that through the last two games of their season. We’re giving them as much information as we can to make sure they do that but it’s up to them to put it into practice. The five in five is a by-product of that work and I know they’re determined to see it through properly.”

United – Eccles, Thomson, Chisholm, Dickson (Pearson 70), Marshall, White, Hammell, Moyes (Elliott 65), Dempsey, Brough, Blackburn. Subs – Brass, Douglas.

Goals – Pearson, Blackburn.

United v Tranmere, Creighton Rugby Club, Saturday 12 April, kick off 11am

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Chris Blake now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

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