Below Normal Standards

Jerry Gill on Wolves' FA Youth Cup exit

Jerry Gill admits there was disappointment that Wolves Under-18s didn’t live up to recent form as they were beaten by Reading in the FA Youth Cup.

Wolves were beaten 3-0 by an impressive Reading side at Molineux on Friday night, but didn’t reach the heights of the last few months when they have found a consistently high performance level.

Attention will now turn to the remainder of the season, and learning any lessons from what was a rare defeat in recent weeks.

“I have had a few days now to reflect on the game and that is always important,” said Gill.

“But my thoughts don’t change in the over-riding disappointment that we didn’t look like the Wolves Under-18s that we had seen for the previous three months.

“For a lot of that, the full credit must go to Reading who were a very good team on the night.

“Their staff were very humble and respectful and they had done their homework on us, as they told us afterwards.

“Fair play to them, the way they set-up and approached the game made it difficult for us to play our natural game.

“On top of that I thought a few of our lads froze on the evening and we weren’t positive enough – I said to the boys in the dressing room afterwards that I thought we were a little bit safe.

“One thing people will know who have seen us play a lot recently is that we have been really positive in our attacking.

“I don’t mind if we concede goals, but on Friday night we weren’t positive enough in going forward and getting bodies forward as well.

“We didn’t get enough passing going forward and the detail of our passing wasn’t up to its usual standard.

“I thought the start of the game was really tight and it looked like it was going to be a very tactical game with both sides working each other out.

“In the end they scored twice in the first half and we didn’t do enough to prevent them.

“Still we did have opportunities in the game.

“We had the crossbar on one occasion and then Jordan Allan did well to get down the side and cross for Nicu but it never really looked like we were going to get back in the game.

“At 2-0 down at half time I said to the lads that they were not going to play any better than they had played and that there was a lot more to come from us.

“I felt that if we could have got the next goal we could have made a game of it but they got the third and the pattern of the second half followed that of the first.

“We tried tweaking it and changing it and mixing things up to help the boys out but in the end we didn’t quite have enough on the night.”

Gill admits that after such an impressive run of recent form, his team found it difficult to respond to going behind against a team packed not only with quality but also plenty of physical power and pace.

“The boys have had a lot of success recently and when we did go that goal behind I think the lads found it difficult to respond,” adds the coach.

“That was nothing to with any lack of attitude or application but it was about how to work out how to get back in the game.

“They had some very effective players, some big and strong physical specimens as well.

“We struggled at times with their power and pace and we didn’t get away from them with our power and pace and that made for a really tough evening for us.

“We missed out on too many one-v-one duels – which we have been really good in recently – and I thought we lost a few tackles in the middle of the park and in and around the edge of the box which led to our goals.

“But full credit to Reading – I am certainly not looking to take anything away from them and they were excellent on the night.

“We are disappointed that we didn’t show what we had shown for the last three months.

“But one game isn’t going to change my opinion on the players at all.

“We will stay consistent within that as I have said all along, even when we were losing a few games at the start of the season - I won’t change my approach and neither will the staff.”