Scott Sellars was impressed with his side’s resilience as the Wolves Under 23s battled to a 1-0 win away at St. James’ Park against Newcastle United on Monday evening.
Donovan Wilson’s 10th minute strike proved to be enough to win the game on the night but it took some heroic defending from Wolves to keep the hosts out.
Newcastle fielded a number of first team players in a side which included Dwight Gayle and Jack Colback.
Sellars admitted he was ‘worried’ when he saw the Newcastle team sheet but said he was pleased with the performance of his players on the night.
“Overall, I was really pleased with the result and mostly I was pleased with the performance,” he began.
“Looking at the opposition and looking at the team they’d picked with the first team players coming to play, you’re always a little bit worried.
"It seemed to give the boys even more of an incentive with playing at St. James’ Park as well - we’re always saying to them that it’s their opportunity to go and prove that you can play against good players at this level.
“We want them to go and show that they’re the next young player coming through - I thought they coped with it really well.
“The second half was difficult and at times they put us under a lot of pressure - the boys put a lot of effort into it and the boys definitely physically tired towards the end. I thought we lost a little bit of composure at times when we did regain the ball we could have got on the ball and got at Newcastle a little bit more.
“The lads defended very well as a team, they were very resolute, people put themselves on the line - ‘Bresser’ (Anthony Breslin) clearing off the line, I thought Harry Burgoyne was outstanding when we really needed him.
“First half we played with a lot of quality, second half we played with a lot of heart, a lot of spirit and a lot of togetherness.
“If I look at the league at the moment, a lot of teams seem to be beating each other apart from probably Middlesbrough or Blackburn at the moment.
“We’re just hoping from our point of view that we’re playing with a bit more consistency - a lot of players have gone out on loan to get some experience so it’s going to be a period where we might be a little bit up and down in terms of consistency.
“The best way to be consistent is to learn from our mistakes, use it and become better players from it.”
Sellars was full of praise for the goalscorer Donovan Wilson.
He feels the striker, who has made two appearances for the first team this season, upped his game - he says he was excellent on Monday evening.
“In the last month or so, we’ve really seen Donovan take another step up - he’s had a really good two years now with us,” he continued.
“We’ve made him captain at the moment as the most experienced player in the team and he seems to thrive on that responsibility.
“On Monday, I thought he led the line really well - I thought his hold up play was good and I thought I used him well particularly in the first half.
“In terms of the week ahead, we’ve got no game next week with it being international weekend - we’ll probably have a game between ourselves with the ‘18s.
“We’ve got a game on Wednesday against for some of the lads who haven’t played and for some of the ‘18s to push them up and see what’s in there.
“Next week, we’ll work hard and then we’ve got Bury coming up in the cup which will be a different game and a different challenge but something again that we’re looking forward to - hopefully the result against Newcastle will give the lads a lot of confidence.”
Monday also saw the return of Morgan Gibbs-White who has spent a number of months out with injury.
The 17 year old has also been called up to the England squad for the Under 17 World Cup.
Sellars was impressed with Gibbs-White’s performance, he feels he’s got a big future ahead of him.
“We were allowed 30 minutes with Morgan - I thought he showed what a good player he is, he’s got a lot of quality.
“To say he’s been out for quite a while now and that’s his first game in a long time since last season - he showed his quality straight away and looked like he’d never been away.
“Delighted to see him back playing, we think he’s got a really big future here and on top of that he’s been picked for England.
“It’s a great reward for all the hard work he does - I’ve seen him in the gym, he gives everything he’s got when he’s training and that’s why he’s getting the success now."