Rob Edwards was pleased with his side after Wolves U21s drew 0-0 with Scunthorpe United in their opening Checkatrade Trophy clash of the 2018/19 season.
The Iron went on to win a bonus point with a 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory following the game but Edwards was delighted with his players’ approach to the fixture nonetheless.
Speaking after the game, Edwards said: “I’m really pleased. This competition is set up more for U21 teams to have a real challenge and a real test.
“It’s something different and it certainly does that. I was delighted with our players, I was absolutely delighted with them.
“With and without the ball I thought we were really effective and we possibly edged it over the 90 minutes. I’m really pleased.
“You never know fully what to expect from the opposition, if they’re going to make any changes and how they’re going to go about things.
“I thought Scunthorpe had the right attitude, as you would expect. Stuart (McCall) is newly in charge and they made it a really good football match. I thought they showed a really good attitude as well.
“Stuart (McCall) is very experienced in football, not just as a manger. He’s got some good players to work with and he’ll get them going now I’m sure.
“I thought the pitch was excellent, it played really well so, again, it was just a real tough test for the lads.
“When Andrew (Harris-Sealy) came off I heard him saying ‘wow, this is such a different game.’ That’s why it’s important that we get these fixtures when we can.
“It does give the lads a real insight into what’s expected in league football.
“It really does give us something different, there are a few more fans than we’d normally get at a U23s game, there’s a bit more on it because it’s a cup competition so it ticked all the boxes tonight.”
Wolves created a number of opportunities to score over the 90 minutes and will feel somewhat unfortunate that they were unable to take all three points from the fixture.
The U23s Head Coach believed getting that decisive touch was one of the key differences in playing a league side.
“On another night, in an U23s fixture, I think we could have scored a few tonight,” he explained.
“I thought we had some really good chances. I’ve said to the players that it just shows how tough it is at this level to get the ball over the line.
“We got into some great areas and just that final little bit let us down.
“Saying that, in getting to those final areas, I was really pleased. Whether that was through controlled possession or whether it was through a counter-attack, we got into good positions consistently.
“Towards the end Will (Norris) made a couple of important saves but saves I would have expected him to pull off.
“I thought he was excellent on the night, really calm and reassuring for the back three especially.
“We defended the box really well, we won a lot of first a second balls in really important areas.
“But then in the other box, in the attacking box, it shows just how difficult it is to put the ball in the net as well.”