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YOUTH: We have to be more ruthless

Eric Kinder on the draw against Bolton and Saturday's game against Blackpool

21 January 2022

We caught up with youth coach Eric Kinder this week to get his thoughts on last Saturday's 2-2 draw with Bolton.

“We started off very well and we looked like we were going to control the game," he said. "We made two horrendous mistakes for their goals.

"The first one, Scott [Simons] got caught between coming for the ball or not coming out for it. He hesitated then came and ended up bringing the lad down, and it was a clear penalty.

“We missed chances again, but we got to half time at 1-0 down. We made a couple of changes at the break for tactical reasons.

"At the start of the second half Max [Kilsby] did something which is very unlike him. He turned to play it back to the keeper and completely missed the ball. Their lad went through and scored, so we were up against it.

“To be fair to them, they fought back really well. Nic [Bollado] bundled one over the line to get us back in the game. We got the equaliser late on when Charlie Watt got on the end of a great ball through from Dylan Garvey.

"I think it was the 99th minute due to the fact that Bolton were wasting time for the last 20 minutes of the game."

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“We spoke to the lads after the game and I said to them it’s always good to see them going right to the end," he continued. "They’re used to winning and that can be a strength, as well as a weakness.

"They’re not used to going a goal behind so it was new for them, and when we went two behind it was interesting to see how they reacted.

"The reaction we got was terrific. We absolutely battered them for the last 20 minutes, we had chance after chance even though we had to wait until late on to score, but they kept going. That’s a good trait to have.

“We have to be more ruthless, we’ve said it a couple of times. Some of the chances we missed on Saturday were unacceptable.

"Sometimes you have half chances and you call it unlucky, but the chances we had on Saturday weren’t just half chances, the finishing was poor.

"We won’t get away with that against the teams near us in the table. We do create a lot, but we’ve got to take more of the chances."

On getting back into the run of things following the winter break, he told us: "Christmas is a hard period to come back from.

"In pre-season, when you play the first game of the season you’ve usually played five or six friendlies before you get to that point. We hadn’t played since 18 December, before we played Walsall last week, and the first half was awful.

"We got through it in the second half, but the period after Christmas is always difficult. It always takes a couple of games to get back into the rhythm of it, but if we want to finish in the top three or even at the top this season we can’t afford to drop many more points.

"We felt after the game that it was two points dropped, even though we were 2-0 down." 

“Blackpool is always a tough game," he added. "They’re always strong, especially at their place. They’ve got a lot more YT's than most clubs for some reason, so they’ve got a good pool to pick from.

"They’re a good club so they’ll attract players. It’s always a good test. We’ve then got a spell after the Blackpool game without a competitive game.

"I think they’re going to get the last weekend of January off because we’ve pushed them a lot since Christmas. We’re going to organise some U17 games for the free weekends. We’re nearly there with the intake for next year, so we’ll play as many U17 games as we can before the start of next year and keep them going.

“We fit in as many games as we could before Christmas because I’ve been here a lot of years now and I know what the weather is like in January and February. This is a freak at the moment, usually we can’t play a game in January or February, but the way it’s worked means we’ve only got nine games left.

“We’re top of the league at the moment even though most teams around us have games in hand because of the way we’ve planned our fixtures.

"If we keep winning, who knows, but that’s up to them. I think we’ve got three massive games coming up in the next month or so, we play Blackpool, Salford and Preston and I think if we win those three games we give ourselves a real chance at the league.

"That leaves five games against teams we’ve already beaten this season. We are dropping silly points at the moment, so we need to stop that.”

United - Simons, Potts (Nugent 46), M Bell, Carr, Ellis, Kilsby, Hardy, Watt, Bollado, L Bell, Taylor (Garvey 46). Subs - Breeze, Gordon, Hill.

Goals - Bollado (65), Watt (90)

Bookings - Watt (35), ellis (60), Carr (65), Hardy (75)

Watch the goals from the Bolton game here: 


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