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YOUTH: We have to be more consistent

Mark Birch with Saturday match reaction

8 July 2023

Club News

YOUTH: We have to be more consistent

Mark Birch with Saturday match reaction

8 July 2023

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Youth boss Mark Birch gave us his reaction to Saturday’s friendly defeat against Middlesbrough.

Club News

YOUTH: Middlesbrough

8 July 2023

“It was a tough afternoon for the lads and I think it all comes down to standards,” he said. “That’s as a team, and individually, and it’s everything from how you prepare to how you go about things once you’re out there.

“We’ve just talked to the lads about how tough football is. It’s ok playing Workington on Wednesday, and that’s no disrespect to them because they are a good side, but this was a different level of team in this game.

“I don’t think the lads enjoyed that at all. It was really hard work for them, some of them found it to be too hard, and a few of them caved in under the challenge.

“What they have to understand is that this game doesn’t come easy to anyone. If they want to go on and earn contracts they have to be better on days like this.

“The first years coming in need to get to grips with this being a fast-moving game. You only have a short period to try and achieve things and you have to grasp it with both hands.

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7 July 2023

“These lads have two years with us and some of them are already a year into it. It flies by, they’ll be amazed at how quickly it goes, and that’s why they have to make the best of it.”

“That’s why you have to set your standards every single day, because you never know who is watching,” he added. “Pre-season has been hard so far, but it’s going to be that way.

“They have to deal with it. They have to be strong enough to come through the difficult times, but some of them found too many excuses.

“Credit to Boro this morning, they’re a very good team. It’s these teams that you want to play against because you want to see how our lads stand up to it.

“Today, like I say, they caved in a bit, and what we can take from that is that it lets us know where they are. It shows the lads the challenge that’s ahead for them.

“We want it to be hard because what they’re doing now is a crash course towards professional football.”

The goal United scored came from a spell where they did start to control the passages of play.

“We had a few periods and some little moments, and we looked ok when we were at it,” he agreed. “But we can’t allow that to just be for short spells within games.

“We have to be more consistent and sometimes, when you are, those moments come more often because they’ve been earned through sheer persistence and hard work.

“It’s that standard of working together and for each other all the way through games that we want to see from everybody.

“We can’t start to feel sorry for ourselves if things don’t always go our way because we’ll come unstuck, as we did in this one.”


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