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YOUTH: Becoming a lot harder to beat

25 September 2014

Accrington match reaction from Vince Overson

Youth coach Vince Overson spoke to us about another good display in the 2-2 draw at Accrington last weekend.

"It was a very good performance," he said. "Accrington sat deep and made themselves very hard to break down. We had a game plan when we went out and the lads stuck to it and played extremely well.

"We're starting to see the first years settle in and understand what we're asking from them. We have to remember they've come straight into full time football, and that's from playing with their mates at school, but everything has to mean something now. It was all for fun before joining us but there's a seriousness to it now. It's a learning process but they need to pick up that winning mentality."

"We can see that starting to come together now," he added. "They're becoming a lot harder to beat and their training is getting better. They're getting harder to beat in 1v1 situations which is making us much stronger as a team. We have conceded a few goals but the lads seem to be settling down and starting to make sure they aren't going to be a soft touch.

"They gave a very professional display on Saturday. The run of away games we've had has been an education for them because it involves travelling on the day, which nobody enjoys. You get lethargic and, because of our location, we tend to have to travel a long distance for every game. It's something they have to get used to because it's part of playing for this club. It does affect their game because it's difficult to get off a mini bus and get going straight away, particularly when you're also trying to learn about professional football." 

"Harvey Moyes was sent off and we didn't have any arguments with that," he confirmed. "We've now had two red cards in two games but we do ask the lads to be competitive. We've encouraged them to be stronger than they have been in terms of upper body contact and being more aggressive. The tackle from Harvey [Moyes] was a horrible challenge. He knows that but, as we keep saying, it's all a learning curve. He'll miss three games now and he won't like not being involved, so I'm sure he will learn from it." 

"The goals came from Connor Hammell and he has got a knack of finding the back of the net at this moment in time," he commented. "He's got a lot of ability and he's doing very well. We also have other lads who are doing exactly the same and training with the first team. That's all we ask from them, continual progression and knowledge of the game so they can hopefully go on and play in the first team."

"We do say that results don't matter but we've had a couple of good away draws and it does matter to the lads to make sure they turn those into victories," he said. "It's very good for the lads to have a winning mentality. It's good for the morale in the changing room if they're winning games. The only thing we want them to do is keep improving. Some will improve quicker than others but as long as all of them are improving we're happy. 

"We went 2-1 up against Accrington, then had a player sent off, so the draw did feel like a defeat. The lads thought they had the game won so they were disappointed afterwards. They played very well which is all we're interested in. I want good individual performances and that will always lead to good team performances.

"Keith Curle coming in will give them a lift because they will want to prove themselves to him. They will want to show him that they're good enough to go forward and make him look at them. They want to impress him and ultimately end up training with the first team, with a view to getting a professional contract."

Looking ahead to the weekend, he said: "Wigan will be a different type of game to Accrington. The tempo will be different and they will play in a different manner. 

"However, we concentrate more on our own performances than who we are playing. There are going to be variables and constants in every game we play and we hope we can get more constants in terms of consistency within the play. We work on things during the week and, if they carry them out in the games whoever they're against, we will do well."

United - Fowler, Hurley, Pearson, Taylor, Douglas, Marshall, Quigley, White, Blackburn (Bradbury, 25), Hammell, Moyes. Subs - Eccles, Elliott, Rudd, Robson. 

Next up - United v Wigan Athletic, Saturday 27 September, Creighton Rugby Club, kick off 11am

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