U18 coach Dave Wilkes with reaction to the Fleetwood game
Youth team coach Dave Wilkes spoke to us about last weekend’s 3-0 victory over Fleetwood in what was the first home game of the season.
“It was a good performance and the lads showed a lot of spirit and character,” he said. “We’re looking for them to develop that so it’s really pleasing to see it come out this early in the season.
“Once we got the first goal it settled the lads down and we looked as though we were the team on top. The good thing from there was that we stayed on top for the rest of the game. It’s the old saying that goals change games and this was an example of that.
“Fleetwood had a strong foothold and they were playing some good football but the way we reacted and then got that first goal knocked the stuffing out of them a little bit. That allowed us to get the upper hand and we went on to create a number of chances, particularly in the second half.”
“There were a number of good things to come out of the game,” he continued. “We defended well, quite doggedly when we needed to, and we built our forward play from that. We got numbers forward at pace and we caused them quite a few problems.
“I was very pleased for Max [Brown] because it’s always nice for a striker to get a hat-trick. You can’t beat that when you’re playing up front and he took all of his goals really well.
“He got his first from the corner by nipping in at the right time and his second was probably the pick of the bunch. He went on a nice run and tucked it away in the top corner. His third was a shot on the spin and he probably could have had more.”
Speaking about the team spirit shown by the group, he said: “We’ve worked on togetherness all the way through pre-season and we often talk about sticking together when times get tough.
“We had some hard games in pre-season against the likes of Blackburn and Middlesbrough but I think that has stood them in good stead. This game has showed them that by working hard for each other they can make team spirit count for a lot.
“We do get involved as coaches on the sidelines because we do need to help them along as well. We give advice on tactical changes and positional things, and sometimes they need a range of instructions when it comes to dealing with different shapes and situations. I think our job is to give as much encouragement as possible because the lads to do respond to it.”
“They listened, they got their result and I think they earned it,” he concluded. “You could tell after the game they were on a real high and they knew they’d put the work in to make that the case. Hopefully the good start to the season will continue for them.
“I spoke to them before kick off about the clean sheet they’d kept at Preston and the need to back it up. The benchmark had been set against a very tough side away from home and they took it on another level.
“It’s two clean sheets in two games and you can’t ask for any more than that. It’s a busy start to the season for them and we’ll be asking them for more of the same against Wrexham on Friday.”
United – Bacon, Olson (Lloyd 88), Hutchinson, Watson (Goldthorpe 80), Taylor, Groves, Egan, Breen, Brown, Salkeld, Eastlake (Cowburn 57). Subs - Ashton, Hodgson.
Goals – Brown (3)
Next up – Wrexham v United, Friday 19 August, kick off 1.30pm
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