Wolves under-21s face Bradford City in their second EFL Trophy match of the season this evening, as James Collins’ side aim to bounce back from the opening game defeat to Oldham.
The development side have made an impressive start to their Premier League 2 campaign, with their only defeat of the season coming in the EFL Trophy.
Having earned wins over Burnley and Stoke City, as well as a draw with Leeds United, Wolves lost to the League Two side 4-0, but the scoreline didn’t reflect the performance of the young side who more than matched their opposition for the opening 85 minutes of the match, before suffering three late goals.
Tonight’s opponents are currently sat eighth in the League Two table, with the Bantams undefeated from their first three league matches but did fall to a penalty shootout defeat to Doncaster Rovers in their opening EFL Trophy fixture.
Due to the EFL Trophy being an EFL competition, the usual live coverage on Wolves TV will NOT be available for the fixtures with Oldham, Bradford and Doncaster. Follow @WolvesAcademy on Twitter for match updates.
Valley Parade, Bradford
3-0 vs Stoke City (H)
0-4 vs Oldham Athletic* (A) EFLT
2-2 vs Leeds United (A)
2-1 vs Stevenage* (H)
2-2 vs Forest Green Rovers* (A)
0-5 vs Carabao Cup* (H) CC
*indicates first-team opposition
WHAT THE BOSS THINKS
On a positive start to the season
“After the long enforced break I think they came back and worked really hard in trying to improve on what we want to do and play the way we want them to play, and they’ve had some success on the pitch as well which has help.
“We had some really good results in the pre-season games and that carried on into the league.
“I think we can be pleased with how we’ve started, it’s been a good, solid start, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement for the season.”
On the Oldham scoreline not reflecting performance
“I thought we were very good for the majority of that game, but what the result does show is that when you play against league teams, you can’t switch off. If you switch off for a period of time, or you don’t sustain it for the whole 90 minutes, then you get punished.
“Although it was frustrating because they scored in the last five minutes of both the first-half and the second-half, for the other 80/85 minutes, I thought we were excellent, but it was a good lesson for them to learn.
“When you go into league football, you can’t switch off, and I felt that when the second goal went in they thought it was over – but it’s not over until the final whistle and if you don’t stay with it, you end up getting beat three, four or five.
“It was a really good lesson for them, although I did feel very sorry for them at the time because I thought we more than matched Oldham for large parts of the game, and we were even the better side.”
On being without players on international duty
“With it being international break, we’ve got one or two away with internationals, but we’ve also got one or two back who missed the Oldham game as they were with the first-team.
“Christian [Marques] is away with Portugal under-20s, Luke [Matheson] is with England under-19s and Jack [Scott] is with Northern Ireland under-21s, so they will all be big misses.
“But we’ve also got good replacements who can come in, so it’s swings and roundabouts.”
On expectations of Bradford
“They’re a competitive team, they work hard and they’re a big club. I remember the times when Bradford were a Premier League club, so they’re a big club who always have good players.
“They’re always competitive and under Stuart McCall they are a good footballing team, so we expect a really tough night, at a really good stadium.
“But with all these games, we’re really excited to see how our boys approach these sorts of games.”
06/10 Bradford City* (A) EFLT
18/10 Aston Villa (H)
26/10 Crystal Palace (A)
01/11 Fulham (H)
06/11 Sunderland (A)
*indicates first-team opposition