Alan Moore on the Walsall and Burnley gamesYouth coach Alan Moore spoke to us about the recent Walsall and Burnley games.
"We changed formation for the Walsall game a couple of weeks ago," he explained. "The first half was probably as well as we've played all season. We had chances to go ahead which we didn't take and as the game went on we got hit on the counter attack.
"Overall it was a really pleasing performance. They scored the second goal late on after we'd pushed bodies forward, so I've taken responsibility for that. I've told the lads I'd rather try and draw the game 1-1 than and end up losing 2-0, than just sit back and accept it.
"Walsall are a good side so the way we played was pleasing. When you look at the league table from last season, Bury won the league and we took four points off them. This year Shrewsbury are top of the league yet we played them off the park and beat them 2-0 when they came up here. Within the group we are capable of producing performances, we just can't get it consistently enough."
"We feel we're at a stage now where we need to get a win for the lads," he continued. "We're playing well without getting the rewards for it. We talk after every game about composure and the wrong decision for the final pass. Those aren't things you can teach, they're things that come from the players themselves. It's nothing that I'm too worried about because if we keep creating chances we'll give somebody a good thrashing soon.
"We remind the players not to get frustrated with the game, we played well and created a lot of chances on Saturday against Burnley. If we don't score early we will score so we tell the players to remain confident and keep playing our football.
"We tell the lads that everything they do, whether it be training or a match, has to be at their maximum. For some reason or another they treat different games with different intensity, particularly if they're playing teams at the top of the league. That can't be an exception, it needs to be the norm, and we're trying to drill that into them at this moment in time.
"There isn't a lot we need to work on because we're playing good football that's good to watch. I think the lads now need a result to go with it. You could sense at half time against Burnley that even though we were 1-0 up there was a nervousness about us when they got into our final third.
"They're nervous around our box which is understandable, because they want that win so badly. It's something they'll learn. We've got a young group at this moment in time but they are good at taking instructions on. They're getting to know the game and we're seeing that in the online reflections they're filling in after the game."
"The Burnley result will feel like a loss because we were 2-0 up and they got it back to 2-2," he admitted. "It was like the first team at York, but we'll keep telling them they're playing well and they know that themselves. As a player you know at the end of the game if you've played well or not. You can see that the players aren't too down at the end of game, which probably isn't the right thing to say after a defeat.
"The understanding from the players has been brilliant. They've taken to it really well. They're training against the first team on a Friday so they're understanding the roles from watching them. We've tried to replicate what they're doing with the three at back and we've got some nice footballers who can play through the thirds so it has been good to watch."
On this weekend's Youth Alliance Cup game, he said: "We played Lincoln a couple of years ago and we know they'll be a big, strong side. They'll be fairly direct which will be a challenge for our defenders.
"They beat Fleetwood this year, who beat us earlier in the season, so it won't be an easy game. It's a game, especially because we're at home, that we're confident of winning.
"We're coming to the point in the season where we've got the Youth Alliance Cup, the Cumberland Cup and the FA Youth Cup. They're different games and the lads approach them slightly differently which we're trying to get them out of. We want them to treat every game the same, but they do look forward to the cup games.
"We look forward to the Cumberland Cup because it's good to see how the lads perform against men. It's a different kettle of fish all together. They'll have people in their face and there'll be verbals on the pitch, and off it, so it's good to see how the players adapt to that."
United v Walsall: Bacon, Hurley, Pearson, Taylor, Douglas, Groves (Brown 80), Breen (Salkeld 60 (Rudd 88)), Egan, Holt, Bradbury. Subs: Burgess, McCue.
United v Burnley: Bacon, Salkeld, Pearson (McCue 80), Taylor, Douglas, Groves, Holt, Robson, Breen (Rudd 45 (Brown 85)), Egan, Bradbury. Subs: Burgess, Windle.