Darren Ryan gives his views on his side’s 2-2 draw with Leicester City and looks ahead to Saturday’s trip to Newcastle United.
The Under 18s extended their unbeaten run to four games with a 2-2 draw at home to Leicester last week.
Ryan’s side took the lead in the game through Jordan Allan, however Leicester fought back and scored two to turn the game on it’s head.
The Young Wolves managed to get an equaliser, again through Jordan Allan - a late penalty save from Rory Brown secured the point.
Ryan says that the game was different test for his players and he was impressed with how they dealt with it.
“Overall, I was pleased with the response of the players. In the first half, we dominated the game - we got the goal from a set-play, good anticipation from Jordan Allan - we probably could have been two up and we were quite comfortable in the first half," he said.
“Then they changed it a little bit and they went more direct and put balls in behind us and it gives the players and especially the back four a different challenge.
“We gave a goal away from trying to play out and being a bit open, I felt we should have been more compact.
“And then an individual error was to blame for the second goal. That’s the way we want to play, we want to build up from the back and the way the lads will learn is sometimes by making mistakes.
“The lads’ attitude then get back in the game after that was excellent, 2-2 - they get a penalty right at the end and Rory Brown makes a fantastic save.
“It was us dealing with more direct football which they haven't really come up against through the season.
“After watching three of Leicester’s previous games, they changed from playing a diamond to play a 4-4-1-1.
“I can’t fault the lads, they knew how to adapt to it, thereby played against it before and we try and let the players solve the problem really, which they did really well particularly in the first half.
“They dropped off, they let us have the ball and then they changed it and put balls in behind us.
“It’s a good learning curve for the players to come across different formations and the way different teams play. I felt they coped with it generally well.”
The Under 18s now make the trip up to the North East to face Newcastle United.
Although Ryan realises that it will be a tough test for his side, he says that they are full of confidence that they can get a result.
“Newcastle is going to be a difficult game - the lads have played them twice and I think they've been beaten twice but they've always been in the games," Ryan continued.
“We’ve worked on a few bits, we’ve watched the video of them and we’ve done a little on Newcastle.
“I say every week, it’s about us, it’s about what we do - I’m more concerned about how we’re going to do in the game rather than the opposition.
“We give the lads some little bits in and out of possession but generally we prepare on what we’re going to do.
“The lads have shown great character to come back and deal with a setback - now, I’m looking forward to the challenge and I think the players are looking forward to the challenge.
“You can tell in training that the lads are full of confidence. They are really confident at the moment - we’re on 10 points now from four games.
“They've set themselves the challenge of 15 points at the beginning of the merit league - at the moment we’re on target for that and the environment that we’re playing and training in is really positive at the moment.”