Academy manager Alan Moore on the Bury game
Academy manager Alan Moore gave us his reaction to the 3-2 away victory at Bury on Saturday.
“This was a different kind of performance from the lads,” he said. “They didn’t play well individually and we didn’t keep the ball well as a team. We had a good chat about that after the game.
“We went 3-1 up, and we won the game, but I’ve said before that it’s about performances. We actually ended up where we gave the ball away and we could hardly get out of our own half in the second half. That was a direct consequence from losing possession far too much and we put ourselves under an awful lot of pressure.
“It was interesting to see because our decision making went from being good to poor all over the pitch. We now have a very tough game against Blackpool on Tuesday afternoon to see if we can put that right.”
“I’ve now seen a different side to their game, because things didn’t go for them, and it was a case of whether they could handle that happening to them,” he continued. “Some of them struggled with it a bit, but they dug it out and just about got over the line. So, performance wise, it was nowhere near the standard they’ve reached recently, but it gave me plenty to consider and think about.
“Seeing that type of thing is good in the way that you learn more about your group when the game goes that way. You see a totally different side, from a coaching point of view, and I’ve come away feeling pleased with that. When they lose the ball you want to see what they do about it. Do they stick to the basics? Do they get into their shape early enough and do they recover? To be fair, it all started to go a bit off course after the break and they have to learn to do the basics whatever the situation.
“We followed up with all of those points after the game and we’ve had a look at the comments the lads have written down from their reflections of the day. They have all been very honest because they know what they’ve done right and wrong. They’re good lads and they know when they play well and when they don’t.”
“I think Saturday was an example of the inconsistency you get from young lads,” he said. “The pleasing thing was that they kept going and they didn’t get frustrated with it. What we’re seeing at this moment in time is that they’re working hard for each other.
“They’re putting in a shift for 90 minutes and I’ve told them from day one that has to be something they always do. It should be part of their game, every game. Working hard on the pitch is a big part of the job and we should see it every time they go out there. They’re giving us that so, all we do from there, is work on improving the little things. That’s the same for every coach at every level.”
“Another pleasing aspect is the goals we’re scoring because that’s what the game is about,” he commented. “There’s a dispute between Connor [Hammell] and Danny [Hodgson] over who got one of them, and I’m sure that will go on for weeks to come. They’re scoring goals, they’re creating chances and they’re putting together some good passages of play.
“We go into the Blackpool game now and they’re top of the table. I think they can win the league if they beat us in this one, so it will be a great test for our lads. They’re the best team in our league, they’ve proved that, so our lads will want to show they can match them. I think everybody wants to be a party pooper but, again, it’s about performances for me. I’m not that focused on the result. I just want to see the lads play and approach things in the same way they did at Burnley last week.”
United – Eccles, Thomson, Chisholm, Dickson, Marshall, White (Wallace 57), Hammell, Elliott (Rudd 78), Moyes, Blackburn, Hodgson. Subs – Brass, Douglas, Brown.
Goals - Hammell (2), Hodgson
United v Blackpool, Tuesday 1 April, Creighton Rugby Club, kick off 1pm