Looking for Response

Sellars after Under 21s defeat to Fulham

Scott Sellars will be hoping for an improved performance from Wolves Under-21s when they face Liverpool in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Thursday.

The Under-21 Head Coach conceded that his side were well below par in their final league game of the season, last Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat to Fulham at Molineux.

The visitors scored three times in 18 minutes during the first half, and despite an improved second half performance from Wolves, the Cottagers were comfortable winners on the night.

Sellars said: “I thought that it was probably our worst performance of the season if I’m being honest.

“In the key elements of the game in scoring goals and defending goals, we were very poor.

“I thought we looked flat and nervous.

“Up until the first goal it was pretty tight, we huffed and puffed a little bit and once they got the first goal to many of them went under and couldn’t cope with going 1-0 down.

“Then it quickly became 2-0 down and the game’s over, you’re chasing it.

“In the second half we had more of a go, and had more possession in their half but we never looked like we were going to score.”

The result was Wolves’ 13th defeat at this level this season, and in the majority of those games the result has not reflected the team’s performance.

But this was definitely a night to forget and one that Sellars wants his players to learn from quickly.

“They have got to learn,” he said.

“In football you don’t win every game and you don’t go 1-0 up in every game and you have to deal with disappointment.

“And if they can’t cope with it they are not going to be professional footballers.

“It’s tough and I thought some of them looked young, looked weak and it really affected them.

“And I’m looking at games at Molineux where I’m always saying to them, ‘I’m looking at the ones who look like a first team player, who’ve got character, who’ve got belief in their ability and who really rise to the occasion’, but I didn’t see that against Fulham - I thought too many of them went under.”

Unfortunately, Wednesday’s result meant that Wolves finished bottom of the Barclays Under 21 Premier League Division Two.

Asked as to what lead to a 12th placed finish, Sellars believes there to be one significant factor.

He said: “I think purely and simply it’s down to age.

“At the moment the first team’s average age is 22 and a half, so that means that about 80% of them could play for me.

“So that means that as Connor Hunte progresses, Jordan Graham progresses, Dom Iorfa and Kortney Hause progress we’re going to get younger and younger.

“But the reason that all of them are in the first team squad is because they’re playing in these games at 17/18 years old and that’s what our beliefs and policy are.

“I don’t want 21 year-olds in the team who’re not going to be professional footballers.

“I want 18 year-olds who are pushing Kenny to say ‘in a couple of years time I’m going to be playing for you’.”

However, despite the disappointing end to the campaign, Sellars believes that his squad can learn from the experience and be better equipped for next season.

He said: “All you can do is put them in situations, and some of them are nice and easy, and some of them are tough.

“And we’re looking for them to respond.

“If they sulk and moan and blame everybody else, then the next performance won’t be very good.

“But if they say ‘ok, fair enough, we weren’t very good on the day, we’ve got an opportunity to prove that it was a bad performance but that’s all it was then we’ve got an opportunity to put it right’, and that’s up to them."

With no further league action between now and the end of the season, Sellars’ squad will play friendly matches against Liverpool – behind closed doors on Thursday – and Fleetwood before they head to Germany in the post-season to defend their Bitzer Cup crown.