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Boss's Praise For Under-21s


13:09 5th December 2012

Solbakken aiming for common methods

Ståle Solbakken has praised Development Coach Steve Weaver and the club’s Under 21 side who have come through a tough group to qualify for the Elite Stage of the Barclays League.


Liam McAlinden’s late winner and an even later penalty save from Aljaz Cotman helped Wolves to a 2-1 victory over Manchester City on Monday night which secured second placed in the group ahead of teams including Chelsea, City and Fulham.


The first team boss has been keen to introduce a similar approach and style of play through all levels of the club from seniors downwards, and has been pleased with the response from the coaches at Compton.


He said:  “I think Steve Weaver should have credit for the way they play the game because they’re trying to adapt to our game, and to have a style of play familiar through the ranks is something we’re working on now.


“Like all the other coaches, they try to play the same type of football.


“We will also try to have a certain amount of exercises in the Under-21s and the Under-18s which are the same as the first team, so they’re recognised right the way through.


“I think this is very important for a club like Wolverhampton to benefit from that.


“There are small variations but to have a ‘red line’ is very important, and we’re trying to give them a good football education by playing the right way.


“We’re trying to have a closer co-operation through the coaches because I think that will be a bid advantage to us if we work like that for a number of years.


“If you play a certain type of football that is recognised by everyone, that will help us discover players in certain roles and it is easier for coaches and players.


“Steve has done that very well with his coaching.”


While delighted to see the Under-21 side qualify, the manager also holds the attitude that sometimes at lower levels performances can be equally as important as results.


“For me, the way they’ve played is more important than the results,” added Solbakken.


“I think these days everyone is very concerned if you’re going to win the Under-18s League.


“It’s important that players are taught to win and I understand but that should be a lesser concern than being prepared to play.


“It’s better for Wolverhampton to get two, three or four really good players than to win a big trophy with 6ft 4ins players who are finished when they’re 19 or 20.”


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