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YOUTH: Creating a lot of chances

5 March 2015

Alan Moore on the Preston and Doncaster games

Youth boss Alan Moore spoke to us about the recent victories over Preston North End and Doncaster Rovers.

"It's been a tough schedule for the lads," he said. "I think we've played two games a week for the last four weeks, so to play Saturday-Monday at the end of that period was a big ask. 

"The lads did really well and they've trained hard in between all of the games. We've had another good session today so the fitness levels are really good. They've shown a good mentality in the second half of games recently which is testament to them psychologically and physically." 

"The Preston and Doncaster games were both similar," he continued. "We didn't get going in the first half, we stood back and watched to see what they had to offer first. By the time we got to half time against Preston we were deservedly 2-0 down, and we were lucky that it was only two. They got a bit of a rocket during the break, we made some substitutions and we got a tremendous reaction from all of the players. That's all we can ever ask for.

"The good thing is that we're creating a lot of chances at the moment. The game on Monday was difficult because the conditions were horrendous, so we asked them to play out from the back because of the wind and snow. When they do that we create chances, because we've got ability all over the pitch.

"If the conditions at the end of the game against Doncaster were the same at the start then it would probably have been called off. That wouldn't have pleased Doncaster because they'd stayed overnight and we'd already had to call it off twice." 

"We did well in the end and nobody wanted to see a penalty shootout," he said. "To score late on again, which we've done a few times in the last couple of games, was good for all of the lads. They're enjoying the cup games at the moment. They're sticking together and they always believe they're going to score late in the game. Myself and Vince [Overson] are pushing them on from the sidelines and they're now getting the rewards for all of the work they're putting in through the week.

"We're demanding they play out from the back which, if they make mistakes, we don't mind at all. We accept honest mistakes as long as they want to get on the ball and progress through the thirds. Some of them don't want to do it naturally so we're having to force them into it. That isn't ideal because we want them to make mistakes at this level, so they show us they can play at the next level."

"We've got Wigan in the next round of the cup so we could have another Saturday-Tuesday set of games," he explained. "They've beaten us twice already this season, and they're second in the table, so we will be the underdogs in that one. With the way the lads are playing at this moment in time they've got no reason to fear anybody."

"We've already set out our task for Saturday's game against Accrington," he said. "We want to dominate possession from start to finish. If we do that we should create chances and score goals. They'll drop back and let us keep the ball, so we will need to use it and create chances.

"We've got the Wigan game, and the draw for the Cumberland Cup on Friday night, so there is a bit of a buzz around the group. We've made changes, we did that last Saturday, and some of the lads who came in performed well, but some didn't. They're all getting plenty of opportunities so it's up to the ones who are playing to keep their shirts."

United v Preston - Eccles, Rudd, Pearson, Taylor (Hammell 46), Marshall, Robson, Moyes, White, Hall, Salkeld (Quigley 46), Bradbury (Elliott 46). Subs - Fowler, McCue. 

Goals - Moyes, Hall, Hammell.

United v Doncaster - Eccles, Hurley, Marshall, White, Douglas, Robson, Moyes, Quigley (Taylor 80), Hall, Hammell, Elliott. Subs - Fowler, Bradbury, Pearson, Rudd.

Goals - Moyes, Hammell.

Next up - United v Accrington Stanley, Saturday 7 March, Creighton, kick off 11am

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