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YOUTH: We had a crazy eight minutes

14 April 2015

Vince Overson with Shrewsbury Town match reaction

Academy coach Vince Overson gave us his thoughts on the Shrewsbury Town weekend game.

“It was just one of those games,” he said. “We had a game plan, we stuck to it and I felt quite comfortable with it all, to be honest. 

“It was one of those games where you could watch and enjoy it. The quality was good and there was plenty of desire and endeavour from the lads. We could have had goals of our own and then we had a crazy eight minutes which changed the game, because we conceded three silly goals.

“If you take that away, it was probably one of our better individual and team performances of the season.”

“Their goals all came from mistakes but we can handle that,” he continued. “One of the things we tell them is to go out there and make mistakes. They’re the learning blocks of life.

“It’s the way we all learn and the key is how you react to them. There was a lack of concentration after the first goal went in, and that was made worse because we didn’t recover quickly enough to deal with the third one. As I say, they’ll learn from it and they’ll react better going forward for having done it.”

“We actually saw a response within the game,” he told us. “I think Shrewsbury had just the one shot through the whole second half. They’d had the shock of conceding the goals one after the other, but they dealt with it.

“I obviously wasn’t happy with the way we conceded, but nobody ever is. As long as it’s treated as a learning curve, as they did, then I’ll be chuffed to bits with them.”

“We’re at an interesting stage of the season because we now have a group of first years who are about to become second years,” he explained. “They have a lot more responsibility, particularly with the existing second year group having left, and they’ve done extremely well with it. 

“You do find the second years dominate the dressing room. That means some of the first years just sit in the corner and you hardly ever hear from them. That goes out onto the pitch with them because if a second year is screaming at them for the pass, they’ll do it without thinking of the implications. 

“We encourage all of the players to express themselves and we should start to see more of that. The team we have now is getting to know each other and we’re looking forward to working with them next season. We think we’ve got a good bunch, but the proof will be in the pudding.

“Alan [Moore] has done an extremely good job of sourcing players from some of the bigger clubs in the region to add to what we already have. They didn’t quite make it where they were but we think they’ve got ability and that they’ll have an impact for us.”

“It can be strange for all of us when the decisions are made on the second year group,” he said. “It can be a shock to the system to the first years who watch it, because they see how young lads their own age react in different ways. 

“For the first years, it makes them wake up to the fact that this is what football is all about. They see they really do get just under two years here and then a real decision is made. That time creeps up on them really quickly. It makes them realise they have to get noticed and that only they can take the responsibility for that. That can be a bit of a reality check. Fortunately they’ve responded very well to it.

“The big lesson they take from it is that they know they have to perform. If they don’t, they’ve seen first hand that there won’t be a contract waiting for them. This isn’t a job where you can go through a season and hide. You can’t do that on a football pitch because it will catch up on you.”

“We help them with that with a series of constant evaluations and appraisals,” he explained. “We do that every six weeks and they are set targets and goals to keep them going. They look at strengths and areas of improvement and we let them have their say on it as well. The outcome should be that they’ll work on their technique and get better for it.”

“Our last game of the season is against Wrexham on Tuesday and that’s always a tough fixture,” he said. “I enjoy going down there. It’ll be a physical challenge but it’s one we can look forward to.

“Hopefully we’ll be up for the challenge and we’d like a win for the last game of the season. Having said that, I always prefer a performance over a result any day of the week.”

United – Fowler, Rudd (Groves 68), Pearson, Wallace, Douglas, Robson, Egan (Salkeld 72), Taylor, Hall, Hammell, Bradbury. Subs – Bacon, McCue, Holt. 

Goals – Hammell

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