Alan Moore with reaction to the Wigan Athletic game
Youth boss Alan Moore spoke to us about last weekend’s home defeat at the hands of Wigan.
“It was a frustrating game for us, particularly in the second half,” he said. “I thought we played well in patches in the first half but we just tailed off after the break, for whatever reason.”
“We’re having a bit of an issue with the second years at the moment,” he told us. “The level of consistency in the performances we’re getting out of them isn’t what we expect and we need to work on that.
“The first years are kicking on really well so that’s pleasing to see. It’s all part of football and something we have to deal with.”
“I think we saw the issues we have with inconsistency in that one game,” he added. “They showed us some good things but they’re finding it really hard to sustain it for 90 minutes. There’s an awful lot going on with the second years as they worry about contracts so psychologically it’s a very tough period for them.
“It’s all part of the game and it’s something they’re not dealing with very well at all at the moment. It’s a learning curve for them and us as we look at how we deal with certain situations.”
“We have to remember that these are young kids still learning their trade,” he explained. “To be fair to the first years, they’ve got to grips with what’s expected of them on a daily basis. You can see them getting stronger every day physically, technically and tactically. They know they now need to push on and keep producing the goods day in and day out.
“With the second year group we just have to tell them to stay focused on what they’re doing and that it will come for them. The basics of the game never change – hard work, desire and a determination to do well. Some of them have lost sight of that a little bit so they’re missing a lot of steps on the ladder that they really need to take. We’ll keep working with them on it until it starts to come naturally again.”
“As far as the game goes, we’ve had a look at it again and it confirmed what we felt on the sidelines,” he said. “There were lots of good and bad things mixed in together almost from the first whistle.
“The quality of the goal from Jack Elliott was fantastic. It was such a good finish that we’re thinking of entering it for the LFE goal of the month competition. On the other side of it we made two very silly errors which ultimately cost us the game.
“The first was a goalkeeping error which I’ve seen so many times before. We saw it coming, but we let it happen because he has to learn from it for himself. It was a free kick and he set his wall up so that he couldn’t actually see the ball. That allowed the lad to almost pass it into the bottom corner. We lost sight of a couple of their players for the second goal but, again, we can learn from it and hopefully iron it out.”
“The biggest thing we need at the moment is patience,” he told us. “Some of these lads are living away from home for the first time and they can find themselves struggling with homesickness. The second years have to spend a lot of time in the digs so, for all of them, the football should be the release at the end of the week. We have to get back to that.
“It’s a cup game this weekend but, whatever the result, I’m looking for a performance. It’s all part of the two year process and it’s important that they keep that in mind with everything they do.
“It’s an away trip to Port Vale but that’s what you get in this competition. It can take you all over the north of England. All you can do is take every challenge as it comes and remind the lads it’s another chance to showcase what they can do.”
United – Eccles, Hurley, Douglas, Taylor, Pearson, Bradbury (Moyes 56), Quigley, White, Hammell, Elliott, Blackburn. Subs – Robson, Rudd, Brown, Marshall.
Goal – Elliott
Next up – Port Vale v United, Youth Alliance Cup round two, Saturday 4 October, kick off 12pm