10:14 11th May 2017
Scott Sellars is remaining upbeat despite his Under 23’s 5-4 penalty-shootout defeat to Leamington FC in the final of the Birmingham Senior Cup on Wednesday.
The Under 23s manager made 10 changes to the starting XI that played in Monday’s play-off against West Ham.
Leamington took the lead in the 15th minute as Regan Upton was adjudged to have fouled Ahmed Obeng in the Wolves box, Rob Thompson-Brown converted the penalty.
Sellars introduced Andrew Sealy at half-time and in the 69th minute he finished off a Nicu Carnat cross to equalise.
The game finished 1-1 at full-time meaning that the tie would go straight to penalties.
Leamington scored all five of their spot-kicks, Sealy stepped up to take Wolves’ fifth and Leamington ‘keeper Tony Breeden made the save to seal their victory.
Sellars says it was a tough ask for his players following Monday’s play-off with West Ham United but he still felt that his side did enough to win the game based on their second half performance.
“Ultimately our job is to get players into the first team - to be successful in league and cups is a bonus, we’ve had two tough years and we’ve had a good year this year,” he began.
“With the fixture backlog and playing West Ham on Monday didn’t really help us - it made it difficult for the lads to play on Monday and then go again today nit a lot of these younger players have got us to the final, it’s not really the starting 11 for the Under 23s.
“To go toe-to-toe with Leamington with a lot of younger players was a fantastic experience for them.
“Obviously we want to win it, we want to win everything we enter into, I think on the second half performance we probably did enough to nick the game but that’s football, you get on with it and penalties are always a lottery.
“In the first half, we were disappointing and we lacked intensity. It’s not a team that’s played together regularly, we had some lads who’ve come back from being on-loan and some looked off the pace a little bit.
“It was always going to be difficult and I think before the game when you put players who have haven't played together before together, it can be a flip of a coin to whether it comes off and sometimes it can backfire on you.
“The first half performance backfired on us and I didn't think we were good enough in any department really - in terms of passing, defending, tackling - I thought we were off the pace.
“Second half, we asked for a bit more from them and we were a lot better - young Andrew (Sealy) came on and had an influence on the game and Dan McKenna had a big influence on the game when he came on as well.
“Two scholars, two young players coming from the Under 18s, certainly showed a lot of their qualities tonight.”
Sellars was full of praise for Sealy - the 17-year-old signed for Wolves in March from the Conquest Academy in London following impressing while on trial.
He’s hoping that the Under 18s player will kick on and show his ability next season.
Sellars said, “Andrew’s not been with us long, about three months - he’s making massive strides.
“I looked at the game at half time and thought that we had to get at them - Bres (Anthony Breslin) was playing wide left and he's a left back so we had to bring another winger on and the first thing he did was he went past people and he put them on the back foot.
“He showed at 17 years of age, he's got a lot of quality and I’m hoping next season as a first year pro, he’ll be someone who really kicks on and shows his ability.”
Reflective on the season, Sellars is taking the positives as four young players have made first team debuts this season.
Harry Burgoyne, Connor Ronan, Morgan Gibbs-White and Donovan Wilson have all played under Paul Lambert this season.
Although he would have liked to have picked up some silverware, Sellars admits that get players into the first-team is the ultimate target.
“I don’t see the game against Leamington as a defeat, it’s a draw and then the penalties make it a defeat,” he said.
“We’ll look at the positives - we’ve had four league debuts this year which is massive for the football club and obviously for our department as a development department.
“Not only have they gone in and been squad players, some of the lads have gone in and been fantastic at times - from the work that everybody’s done at the football club, that’s what I’m really looking at.
“I want to win things and I want the boys to win things but you don’t always get what you want in football.”