Colin West with Burnley reserve match reactionJoint assistant manager Colin West gave us his thoughts on the 5-1 reserve victory over Burnley at Gawthorpe Hall on Tuesday afternoon.
“The players who haven’t been getting games recently needed pitch time and that’s what fixtures like this give us,” he said. “They get to go up against good opposition, even though Burnley had a young’ish side out, and I thought we started the game exceptionally well. We were on the front foot and there was a high tempo to everything we did.
“Starting the game properly is what we’ve been working on since the start of this season in training and on match days. We’re trying to put the opposition on the back foot so that we can advance further up the field as much as possible.
“If we can do that we then put the other team under extreme pressure and it causes them to start making poor decisions. In turn that allows you to create chances and ultimately score goals.”
“The lads were clinical in the opening 20 minutes or so,” he continued. “The first four goals came quickly and that gave us confidence. We started to move the ball quickly and we saw a lot of what we ask for from the players in terms of turning the opposition round and pushing them back towards their own goal.
“Obviously Derek [Asamoah] enjoyed his afternoon and, in fairness to him, he’s come back unbelievably sharp. His football personality is about pace and getting at the defenders and he can really scare people when he’s on his game.
“He wants the ball and he constantly wants to be behind the back line. That’s something we possibly need in the first team. Derek’s goals were backed up by Joe [McKee] and we’ve been on to him to do that kind of thing more in training.
“The way he connects with a shot is firm and solid and when he hits a ball it stays hit, if you know what I mean. We want to see him do his work further up the pitch so that he finds himself in positions to shoot when he’s taken his touch, rather than being too deep to have that impact.
“He can still do all the nice things midfield players like to do, like change the pattern of play and everything else, but we do want to see him tap into the attacking threat he obviously has a little bit more.”
On the use of trial players on the day, he said: “We had a few trialists in with us and it’s always good to see what they’re like, because you never know.
“Everyone knows Alex McQueen is training with us and he’s another who got involved and played his part. He’s been away from this kind of environment for a while but he’s fitting back in nicely.
“They all did well and they’ll have enjoyed the game. We have a decent relationship with Burnley and games like this are ideal for all concerned. It’s a good exercise for everybody, whether you’re looking at new players or getting minutes for your own.”