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Edwards: Plenty of positives despite Brighton loss

Under-23 head coach Rob Edwards is taking the positives from his side’s 2-0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion in their first match of the 2019/20 Premier League 2 Division 1 season.

Last year’s Division 2 champions had a difficult start to life in the top flight of development football, but Edwards is taking the positives from a game where Wolves created several chances throughout the 90 minutes before two late goals from Brighton’s Aaron Connolly settled the tie.

Match report: Brighton 2-0 Wolves

On making improvements

“It was obviously not the result we would’ve wanted, but there were enough positives in the game to indicate that we can be alright this season and the players, as individuals, can progress well and have a good year.

“I come away from the game clear on where we need to improve and areas on which we need to improve on, which is quite good as sometimes you come away from a game and you have to look back a few times to analyse it to know what you can do better, but this game made it quite clear.

“I thought the attitude from the players was great, we did everything we wanted to out of possession – we were compact, we were aggressive when we needed to be, but we need to know when we have to speed the game up and win the ball back.

“We also need to give ourselves a little bit more trust that we’ve got good players and when we play our shape, and play it well, that we can cause teams problems.”

On spurning chances

“We had the best chances in the first-half, mainly from counter-attack situations. But in the second-half I felt we had a 15-minute period where we were excellent, we were good with the ball and created a lot of chances.

“We hit the woodwork through Ed Francis, Taylor Perry had two good chances from some great bits of play – one was blocked unbelievably by the centre-back and one was a great save from their goalkeeper – and Rafa Nya had a header from close range which he couldn’t get on target.

“We were then on the end of the sucker punch where they went up the other end and got two quick goals. The most disappointing thing was that after the first goal, we conceded again so quickly, an unfortunately it was a mix-up between Andreas (Sondergaard) and our defenders – one ball over the top caught us out.”

On taking positives

“But there are enough positives to take from the game, especially considering we’ve trained together as a team of 11 players once and that was on Sunday.

“Shabani came in for the first time on Sunday, Taylor Perry and Dion Sanderson have been with the first-team throughout pre-season and trained with us for the first time on Sunday and both of them have only played 30 minutes of football this pre-season.

“There are a few lads who we’ve got to build back in, and we’ll build more of an understanding the more we get to train together, and the more players are in the building.

“There are enough positives to take, obviously disappointing to lose 2-0 as we all hate losing, but I have to look at the performance first and foremost, and there were some good individual performances, and collectively at time we looked very good.

“We’ve got to recover now, build again and assess it during the week before a really tough game with Everton on Sunday.”

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