Vince Overson with reaction to the Longtown Cumberland Cup game
Youth coach Vince Overson spoke to us about the Cumberland Cup game against Longtown last weekend.
“The lads coped against a man's team very well,” he told us. “We told the players they were playing against would be physically stronger, but we also told them to keep the physical element out of the game as much as possible.
“We tried to move the ball as quickly as we could and the idea was to wear them down. Again, I'm not being disrespectful to Longtown, but we knew we would be fitter so we tried to keep the ball off them to allow that level of fitness to tell.”
“From the technical side of things we committed players forward and played some good football with short, sharp passes. To play like that in forward areas you have to be technically sound, and our lads were. We had a game plan which we stuck to and we got our just rewards.
“We changed the formation at half time and we committed another midfield player rather than having two holding players. We were having a lot of the ball so we wanted to make sure we used it in the middle third and final third of the pitch. The more bodies you have in advanced areas the more bodies you can have trying to get in behind. We wanted them turned and running towards their own goal and it worked well.”
“As an overall experience, the lads loved playing on the main pitch,” he commented. “I think the only difference is they have all of their relatives in the stands watching them. It's a big occasion for the families but we just told them to focus on their game.
“I told them not to worry about what their dad was thinking when they made a mistake. I told them to focus on me and put their hand up rather than get lost in the occasion. They did that, they all had their hands up looking at me, there were that many that it was like they were asking for permission to go to the toilet in school at times! They handled it well. They went out with every intention of enjoying the game and I think that's what they all did.”
“I’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate Longtown because they came here and they tried to play football,” he said. “We thought they would know we were fitter and that they would try and be a bit more physical to compensate for it. It simply wasn’t like that. They played the game in the right spirit and I thought they had a really professional approach.
“Their staff were friendly and the players were very complimentary about our lads afterwards. It was a cup game played in the right way and all due respect to them for that. I enjoyed playing against them and I think they enjoyed it as well. I genuinely wish them all the very best for the rest of their season ahead. I have nothing but praise for them.”
“It’s off to Fleetwood this weekend and we have to approach it as just another game,” he added. “Every day has the same purpose, it’s for the development of the players. They have to take what they learn from the training pitch into every game they play.
“I go back to the word I keep using over and over again and that’s consistency. We’re starting to see it now because the lads are working hard and getting the rewards. We didn’t get the result against Burnley but I was totally happy with the performance. They’re playing well at the moment and you can see they feel confident about themselves. They’ve started to play adventurous football with a no fear attitude. When you have that you tend to get results.
“Dare I say it, we’re now getting the same levels from them on a match day as they give us through the week. We’ve talked in the last few weeks about the lads knowing what football is all about because they needed to understand that it’s not just about turning up and playing on a Saturday.
“It’s about preparing yourself physically and mentally. It’s how you rest, what you eat, when you eat, how you train and how you utilise your time off.
“It’s these things young lads find very difficult when they first come into a professional club. They have to buy into it and get used to doing it properly or they find they will fall behind. They’re young lads and some of them will try to sneak the odd bag of crisps or takeaway in there, but you expect that. As long as they know how to deal with it and stay on top of their training regime they’ll be fine.”
United: Fowler, Rudd (Hurley, 62), Marshall, Taylor, Douglas, Robson, Quigley, White (Bradbury, 77) , Hammell, Thomson, Elliott (Pearson, 70). Subs: Blackburn, Copeland.