Goals from Jack Bridge, Tom Wilson and Jayden Major secured United a victory against Blackpool in their Tuesday afternoon Central League Cup fixture at Squires Gate.
Eric Kinder spoke to us about what had been a good all-round performance shortly after full time.
“I said to the players afterwards, we’ve had games this season where we’ve been justified going in and having a go at them, at reserve team level,” he told us. “Some of them have been awful, but you couldn’t say that today.
“The commitment from the senior players was excellent, the younger players backed that up, they are getting stronger and more used to playing at this level every time you see them, which is great to see. The overall performance was excellent.”
On the all-important goals, he said: “Charlie Birch’s first touch which allows him to put the cross in for Jack Bridge to score the first one is good on Charlie’s part.
“The second one was a great delivery from Canice and Tom gets on the end of it. He hasn’t scored for the youth team this season in the league, he’s had three or four opportunities, he sneaks in and gets one.
“And I said to Jayden, it didn’t look like he was coming on, but Mo picks up a little bit of an ankle strain in the last five minutes and he ends up coming on and gets a goal, and it means we have to talk about him.”
The victory leaves the Blues in the driving seat in terms of qualification from the group, with just a home game against Fleetwood Town to come to round off the round robin of fixtures.
“We want to win, that’s what we’re in sport for – anybody who comes in and says it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, shouldn’t be doing it,” he insisted. “Some people say it doesn’t matter in reserve football, but they only say that when they’ve got beat.
“Of course it matters, you’ve got to win games. You enjoy your day when you do, and it’s been a really good day today. I enjoyed watching them play, I enjoyed watching the senior players put effort in, to be fair that’s not been the case in some of the reserve team games this season.
“Some of the senior players haven’t put the effort in, which doesn’t do the youth team players any good, because they think that’s the right thing to do. Here they’ve seen senior players put the effort in in a reserve game, on a poor surface. You can come in here as a senior player, look at the surface, and go I’m not playing on this, but to be fair to them they did it.
“The manager was here to watch it but I’m a little bit biased. I’m going to be, I’m more interested in the youth team players because they’re my players. I want them to show how they’re progressing and see what he thinks about them. I thought the first-team lads did ok, I thought the youth team players were excellent.
“Obviously he’s here to look at his players and that’s his decision. My concern is these young lads and whether they’re making progress, and I think they are, that’s the main thing. The manager’s here to look at his players, he’ll have his own opinions on that and that’s fine.
“My lads were all second years here and it’s different for them. They have to work hard and put on a show for everybody. Saturday morning football, only me and Mark [Birch] are there and a few spectators.
“I’ve always said Tom Wilson plays better for the reserves than the youth team, and I think that’s just because he has to step up his game. Sometimes they can get a bit easy-oasy. The more games they get like this the better.”
On a first 60 minutes for the club for new arrival Nick Anderton, he said: “It was always the plan to give him an hour. In fact, he probably went about five minutes more than we planned.
“He’s strong, powerful, he was always going to be like that from a kid when we tried to sign him all those years ago, you always knew he was going to grow into that type of person.
“He’s come here to succeed, you can see that, and he’s gone about his hour’s work today and he was terrific. He hasn’t played since October, since he played against us in the Leasing.com Trophy, I thought he did very well.”
“We’ve got one more group game at home to Fleetwood now,” he commented. “We might need a point, but I very much doubt it. I don’t know how other results have gone, but it gives us another game in this competition, it’s healthy, and it’s healthy winning games.”
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