Wolves Under 18 Head Coach Jerry Gill admitted that it was always going to be a difficult task for his side to come away from their match at Manchester City with a positive result.
Gill’s team experienced a difficult afternoon, losing 6-1 to Lee Carsley’s impressive City side at the City Football Academy yesterday. And Gill could have no complaints with the result.
“We’re not in a great run of form and our group’s very young,” said the coach.
“When you come to Man City you know you’re going to come up against a team full of international players with real technical detail and good individual ability, and we just couldn’t cope with it.”
Joe Hardy opened the scoring for the hosts in the seventh minute, before Jordan Allan levelled matters in the 22nd minute, but two goals in two minutes from Phil Foden and Will Patching took the game away from Wolves before the interval.
Hardy then completed his hat-trick with two strikes in the second half, before substitute Jadon Sancho completed the scoring in the 87th minute.
Gill said: “We got ourselves back in the game at 1-1 and I thought we’d had a really good spell just before the goal where we’ve kept possession.
“It was just unfortunate that we went and conceded after a mistake in central midfield, we gave the ball away too easily and that was the pattern and didn’t defend well enough in and around our 18-yard box.
“But I’ve got to say that it’s a really talented group that Man City have got.”
The defeat was Wolves’ fourth in a row at Under 18 level, and Gill admits that his young side are going through a tough patch.
He said: “It’s hard because we all want to win games and it’s difficult for us as staff, but we have to try and take the positives from the game.
“The disappointment is that we’ve conceded so many goals this season and I think we can be a bit stronger in that area.
“But we have to try and lift the players - at the moment it’s difficult because they’re low on confidence and lots of goals have been shipped and we have to try and take the positives out of it.
“In these games there’s always question marks that get asked, and some of the individuals weren’t quite up to it today, so we’ll de-brief when we get back on the whole game and pull out the bits that we thought were good and the other bits that we need to work on.”
Positives to take out of the game included the performance of goalkeeper Harry Beasley, who produced numerous high quality saves throughout the match, while there was also a well taken goal by striker Allan and Taylor Perry showed his potential in central midfield.
Gill said: “I thought Harry stuck at it, he had good communication, a variety of distribution and he pulled off some fine saves. And the two centre halves (Dion Sanderson & Cameron John) - even though we conceded six - stuck at it as well.”
On Allan’s strike Gill said: “It was an excellent finish
“He bumped the two defenders and broke free with a good finish and bit of composure.
“I’m glad he got the goal because he’s worked extremely hard and worked off bits and scraps, so it’s nice for him.
“I’m sure he’d want more involvement, but we didn’t have the ball enough for long enough spells to get him in the game.
“Taylor kept wanting to get on the ball, he’s a young Under 16 but we’ll keep going with him but outside of that there’s not many that we could say had a good performance today.”
The Under 18’s are next in action on Tuesday evening, when they take on Liverpool at Molineux, a match that is free to attend for all supporters.
And despite their recent form, it is an occasion that Gill believes his team will relish.
He said: “It will be good for for the lads.
“We’ll try to get close to our FA Youth Cup team but that might not happen with the Under 23’s having a game at Portsmouth on Monday.
“So it’ll be an experience for some of the young players playing at Molineux, but we certainly need to be a lot tighter in that and we want to put on a really good show at Molineux and we hope to get a few people in there.
“The boys will enjoy the experience and hopefully take it on in their careers.”
*Wolves have been drawn away to Swansea City in the third round of the FA Youth Cup. The tie has to be played before January 7th.