By Ryan Plant
Wolves Under-18s manager Darren Ryan praised his side’s attitude after drawing 2-2 against Newcastle United on Saturday in the Premier League Under-18 North.
Wolves lost 6-1 away to Manchester United, having won three games in a row beforehand, before meeting Newcastle at Compton Park on Saturday.
Ryan explained how he looked for the perfect response to the heavy defeat in training, and then against Newcastle.
Despite Wolves being unable to convert chances during the game, he was delighted with what he saw.
He said: “I was really pleased with the players. They all trained hard and they all put lots of effort in.
“We spoke about the United game and about what we could have done better but the only way we could truly measure how the team we learned and developed during the week was on the pitch against Newcastle.”
Wolves started the game on the front foot; striker Austin Samuels will count himself unlucky after seeing his brave diving header bounce off the post inside the first few minutes.
Ryan’s side soon, though, did go 1-0 in front. Josh Hesson headed home from a fine cross from Ryan Giles to put the hosts ahead.
Chances came and went for Samuels, Hesson and captain Dan McKenna before Newcastle equalised after a defensive mix-up allowed Thomas Allan to score.
Straight after half-time, Mace Goodridge scored with a fine effort to put Newcastle in the lead.
Ryan continued, “Obviously a mistake let them back into the game. It was then disappointing for them to score 50 seconds into the second half but it shows a lot of character amongst the players that we have here by how they reacted and how they controlled the game.”
In awful weather conditions Wolves continued to play slick, passing football and looked to build from the back. They were eventually rewarded when winger Ryan Giles crossed from the left for Owen Otasowie to equalise from close range.
“We wanted to try and play through the thirds and switch the play,” Ryan said.
“That is the philosophy right down the academy. We have got very good players at this football club, and definitely in this under-18s team.”
“It is pleasing as a coach and for the staff that what we practised during the week was implemented against what is a good Newcastle team.”