Collins delighted with character in U23s fightback

Under-23 head coach James Collins was pleased with the way his young side battled back from two goals down to earn a draw with Leeds United which moved his side to the top of their Premier League Cup group.

Benny Ashley-Seal and Luke Cundle’s goals saw Wolves recover from Stuart McKinstry’s early double which had put the visitors two goals ahead, but with the hosts dominating much of the game, Collins believed his side would have been well deserving of all three points if they managed to snatch that vital third goal.

On fighting back for draw

“I thought we were terrific, I really did. We started the game with such purpose and probably should’ve gone ahead, and then got done with a couple of sucker punches on the counter-attack. We knew they would have energy and drive – very much like Leeds’ first-team.

“But I thought they showed great character to come back, didn’t lose their discipline, got their goal before half-time, which was important, and I felt at half-time we would go on and win the game.

“I thought when we got the equaliser we would go on and win the game, so the disappointing thing was, in the end, we didn’t get the win that we deserved.”

On missed chances

“There were a few, the obvious one was Benny’s, but I thought Benny was brilliant today. It was the first time I’d seen him close at hand, how much of a real handful he is, and what a good player he could be.

“But I felt it was almost too easy a chance for him and he lost concentration and missed it – but that happens, that’s football, and most importantly we didn’t lose the game, so competition-wise we keep ourselves going in that competition and it looked like we had some good players on that football pitch, which is what it’s about.

“It gives a real hope to Wolves that there’s going to be some good players coming out that group, which is pleasing.”

On showing character

“It’s hard for young players to think that when they have the ball, that’s when you’re at your most vulnerable. In modern football, it’s all about the transition.

“Teams often don’t have the ball and catch you out on the counter-attack, and that’s what happened to us. The boys could’ve felt sorry for themselves, because they believed they were well on top at that point, but they didn’t, they kept going, showed great drive and pressed really well.

“That’s a great thing for them to learn this day, you can learn a lot from these games, and they will take away a lot from today.”

Wolves under-23s are at Molineux on Wednesday evening for a winner-takes-all European group stage match against Liverpool in the Premier League International Cup.

Season ticket holders, My Wolves, Young Wolves and #WolfPack member members can gain free entry into Molineux for the 7pm kick-off on Wednesday 29th January but must claim their ticket in advance by clicking here.

Tickets for non-season tickets holders cost £4 for adults and £2 for concessions. Corporate seats are also available in WV1 Bar, costing £10 per adult or £5 per child.