Youth boss Darren Edmondson gave us his reaction to the Workington Cumberland Cup defeat shortly after full time on Thursday evening.
“I think the first goal was always going to be key,” he said. “Once they got in front the experienced five or six they had settled, and we got nervous in possession. That meant we lost the game plan of getting it down and trying to play, and we went too direct.
“That was never going to be a way that we were going to score. I thought we had some good chances in the game, which we obviously didn’t take, and that’s why the first goal was always going to be vital.
“Tom Fowler had a good game for them in goals and the header he saved from Luke [Taylor] from the corner was another big moment. It was a free header and Luke probably should score from it.
“They’re the fine margins we talk about in both penalty areas. We put a great ball in with ten seconds to go at the end and, even though we had four players in the area, nobody attacked it. They all stood and watched it, and what goes on in those penalty areas is key to the outcome of games like this.”
A positive to come out of the game for the young Blues was having been through 90 minutes against a very competitive older team.
“I hope they’ll have learned things from it,” he commented. “We spoke about that with them at full time because whether it’s systems, formations or whatever, players will always try to find excuses when they’ve lost a game.
“This defeat was nothing to do with any of that. It came down to a goal changing the game. We’re in a cycle where results perhaps haven’t been going our way and it shows character to try and pick yourself up if you do concede first.
“Their experienced players stepped on after they scored, and they defended strongly for 10 or 15 minutes. We made a couple of changes to try to battle back into it and that nearly worked for us towards the end.
“It’s been the story of the season so far them, to be honest, because they’re just bubbling under where they need to be. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, because the story of football is that if you’re a ‘nearly man’ then you might as well be a ‘nowhere man’ so we’ve got to very quickly alter some mindsets.
“There were some good aspects at times, but you have to maintain the belief in doing things properly, even when you’ve just gone behind. If you allow yourself to become ragged you start to make the wrong decisions and that doesn’t sit well with the way the team needs to play.
“We don’t have a big striker who we can lump the ball forward to, we have to play through from back to front, and that has to be the way you approach it, even when you’re fatigued.”
“It’s unfortunate that we’re now out of a trophy that we enjoy playing in,” he concluded. “Credit to Workington and it was nice to see some familiar faces again. They did very well, and their mixture of youth and experience worked well for them.
“It’s a big period for the lads now and we have to make sure that we’re ready for a tough one against Shrewsbury next Friday. That’s followed by a Monday night game in the FA Cup against Prescot Cables, and we’ll be looking to that one to set us off on a cup run.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Darren Edmondson on iFollow United now.