Rob Edwards was delighted his players were able to overcome a tough fixture against Fulham yesterday, with three points sending his under-23s to the top of the league.
A Niall Ennis penalty was enough to seal the victory for the Wolves development side, pushing them to the summit of the Premier League 2 Division 2 table – going above Reading and Southampton on goal difference, with all three teams currently on 30 points.
Following the match, Edwards spoke about the challenge Fulham’s youngsters posed his side and what it feels to be back in the Division 2 promotion spot.
On competitive Fulham test
“It was a really tough game, very similar to the one down there at their place. They matched us up and played the same style as we did and then it becomes difficult straight away because it’s not as easy to find spaces.
“It was tight, as expected. We knew it was going to be, so we were prepared for that. Initially we thought they were better, and they were winning more one-vs-one battles, but I thought we upped our game and were a little bit more aggressive as the game went on.
“Getting the goal was brilliant, the timing of it, it was fairly early on in the second half, but you are always going to invite a little bit of pressure then, but we coped with it reasonably well.”
On changing his 11
“We had to shuffle the pack a few times. First when John Kitolano came off. He had done great, but the plan was always to give him 60 minutes.
“The beauty of development football is the result’s not the be all and end all and we wouldn’t necessarily be doing that in first-team football, but we can afford to say – after 60 minutes – off you come, you’ve done great, keep getting fit, keep building him up.
“We started shuffling the pack a little bit and Oskar [Buur] then goes down with an injury. We hope he’s going to be ok, but we had to put Elliot Watt into the defensive line, shuffle people round, but credit to the lads they weathered a bit of pressure reasonably comfortably, without Andreas [Sondergaard] having to do too much work, and still looked a threat on the counter.
“But it was a tight game, they were very competitive, well coached, they’ve got good players, and we knew it was going to be tough, so we’re delighted to get the win.”
On heading to the top
“We’re really pleased. It’s a seven-game shoot-out now as it’s extremely tight and it’s all to play for. Three teams are tied on 30 points, and there’s still several teams who are within a game or two.
“It’s very tight, but that’s good. The lads look at that as well as see all their hard work and effort so far in the league is being rewarded with being top of the league.
“Our job is, although it’s great to win, we’ve got to try and get players through and get the boys involved in the first-team and the training and the set-up.
“That’s out remit and that’s the most important thing, but it’s great to win the football match as well.”