Although Wolves under-23s did not achieve the result they might have wanted, head coach Rob Edwards believes the Premier League Cup defeat to Swansea City ‘ticked the boxes’ from what he required from the game.
Edwards made six changes from the side which overcame Oxford United on Friday night at Molineux, giving starts to infrequent stars Enzo Sauvage, Carlos Heredia and Paulo Alves, as well as under-18 players Callum Thompson and Lewis Richards.
Wolves and Swansea had both already qualified for the last 16 of the competition before Tuesday night’s match, with the win for the Swans meaning they top the Group E table over their opponents on goal difference.
On rotating squad against Swansea
“We made some changes and of course we don’t want to lose any games of football at all, so the lads are disappointed, but we played on Friday at Molineux and we’ve got another game this Friday as well up in Middlesbrough.
“We’ve got a squad full of people who have worked very hard during the week and have not had as many minutes as they would want.
“This match was an opportunity for them to play, as well as for us to take a look at some of the younger players from the under-18s and look after one or two of the lads who’ve been playing quite a lot of minutes this season – so in terms of that, the match ticked boxes.”
On defeat at Compton Park
“I felt the performance in the first half was pretty good, some good moments of control without really hurting them, but neither side really created anything.
“I didn’t think we started the second half very well, they got the goal through a couple of mistakes we made; perhaps we should’ve done better and then we probably clicked into life a little bit then, without really hurting them.
“We had one or two half moments, but nothing really of note. Then in the last moments they break away as we were pushing, we make a mistake and they get the second.”
On Max Kilman’s own goal
“These things happen. You concede goals and it happens in all kinds of manners and players are used to that over the years. You concede goals and that’s it, it’s a reset and off you go again, and I thought we did that OK.
“Then there was nothing in the game again, up until that, we made a slight mistake when we were attacking and it’s through a counter attack that they get their second. I thought we reset after conceding the first pretty well and were able to get on with our game again.
“I think we actually improved after they scored because my main concern was that we didn’t start the second half very well, I think that was my only real gripe from tonight.
“I’ve got no arguments with the scoreline, but the game ticks a lot of boxes in terms of minutes for people who haven’t been playing as much, looking after one or two players and then being able to see the young lads who’ve been playing with the under-18s.”
On making it into the last 16 of the cup
“We’re excited to be moving on to the next round of the Premier League Cup, I think it’s Derby away now, which will be around the 15th or 16th of March - around the same time the first-team play Manchester United in the FA Cup.
“We’re happy to be in the last 16. Both teams were already through going into tonight’s game, and we missed out on goal difference now from top spot, that’s how it is, but we’re looking forwards to the next round.”