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YOUTH: The lads looked sharp

14 August 2014

Academy boss Alan Moore with reaction to the Morecambe game

Youth boss Alan Moore gave us his reaction to the Morecambe game at the weekend.

“The lads ended up with a good result but it was more about the performance from my point of view,” he said. “We asked for a reaction from the Tranmere game and, to be fair to them, they applied themselves really well. 

“We got the reaction we wanted to see and that type of performance tends to get you results anyway.”

“We sat down and spoke to the lads last Monday to see what they felt the problem was when we played Tranmere,” he explained. “They admitted there had been a lot of anxiousness and nerves kicking around before the game, especially from the first years, and that’s something you have to expect. 

“The important thing after something like that is to see they’ve learned from it. They definitely took the positives from it into the Morecambe game and they looked like they enjoyed their football.”

“We’d had a good pre-season prior to the first game so it was a bit of a shock that it went that way,” he added. “We said it last week, they’re still learning the game and they’re going to have weekends where things don’t go their way.

“They’re coming into a couple of hard games now where they have got to step up another level again, but they’ve trained well and there are no complaints from me at the moment.” 

“We have to acknowledge that results breed confidence but we do tend to steer away from that topic,” he said. “I don’t ever want our lads to think if they’ve won a game their job is done. That’s for first team level. At academy level it’s more about how you get to the stage of being able to win a game.

“For example, your centre forward hasn’t only got to be able to score goals. He has to have link up play, movement, intelligence and he has to know when to stretch the play, as well as get into the right areas. It’s a whole combination of things we look at with every position on the field and, if they come together, the rest will look after itself.”

“In terms of systems, we’ve used all of the formations the first team have used right through pre-season and in our first two games,” he explained. “We try to mirror what the first team do because the players have to be able to adapt. 

“If the lads can change formation within games then it makes the team as a whole very flexible and very hard to play against. They’ve shown they have an appetite for doing that and we played with three at the back for the full game against Morecambe. We had no issues at all with it.”

“Another thing which was different for this game was the way the group approached the warm up,” he said. “The first thing Vince [Overson] said to me was that the lads looked sharp and bright. You could tell things were looking good and we could also see they were determined to make amends for the week before. 

“It was good to see because it became a continuation from the really good training sessions we’d had all week. They started well even though there was a strong breeze up at Creighton. They dealt with it and they played through the wind to get into half time at 1-0 up. They then created lots of chances and they passed Morecambe off the park in the second half.”

“It was good to watch how the younger lads managed themselves through the difficult conditions because the decisions they make become even more important,” he told us. “You can’t play in the way you would on a normal day and you have to think about things a little bit more, or you end up in trouble.

“The games keep coming thick and fast now so we’re going to manage the lads through the midweek periods. We were going to play a couple of games but we’ve made the decision to cut back because they’ve played a lot recently. Hopefully that will allow them to get back to a little bit of normality and keep them fresh and ready when their league games come round on a Saturday.” 

United – Eccles, Hurley, Pearson, White, Douglas, Marshall, Quigley (Moyes 65), Taylor, Blackburn, Hammell, Bradbury (Elliott 70). Subs – Fowler, Rudd, McCue.

Goals – Hammell, Blackburn, Bradbury.

Next up – Blackpool v United, Saturday 16 August, ko 11am

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