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Edwards calls for improvements in front of goal

Rob Edwards has called on his under-23s to improve in front of goal ahead of next week’s return to Premier League 2 football and a visit to Manchester City.

The under-23 head coach watched his side fall to a 2-0 defeat to Leicester City at Telford’s New Bucks Head last Friday night, with Admiral Muskwe putting the visitors ahead after 16 minutes, before George Hirst’s 94th minute penalty secured all three points for the visitors.

Although Wolves had chances to get themselves back in the game during a more positive second-half performance, Edwards felt his players need to improve when they get into the final third of the pitch.

On Leicester defeat

“It was clear to everyone that we lost this game in the first 20 minutes. We were aware of what they were going to do, we know how they play, and we believe in how we want to play as well, but they were better than us.

“We continued to try and play how we believe in, but we ended up playing into their hands. We need to know in the future that we can mix the game up and is something we have spoken about, but in the first 15 to 20 minutes, we couldn’t live with their high intensity.

“We performed well in the second-half and we had the lion’s share of possession. I thought we looked the stronger team, the team with the best chances, but unfortunately, we couldn’t take them, and the penalty right at the death was the nail in the coffin.

“We had some good chances, got into some very dangerous positions but couldn’t get that ball over the line. Certainly, when we’re in control of the game, we need to be better in the final third of the pitch.”

On giving minutes to first-team players

“It’s good for Bruno (Jordao) to be getting the minutes in, and certainly for Max (Kilman) as well, they’re in the first-team squad, but if they’re not getting the minutes, it’s important they get some with us so they’re ready if they’re needed.

“Dion (Sanderson) has been out with an illness for a week, so it’s good to have him back, so there’s positives from that point of view. When you’re making one or two changes quite late in the day it can affect the rhythm, but I don’t think it did for us, that’s not an excuse we can use. They’re all experienced players, especially at our level, so can only make us stronger.

“We’ll obviously take positives from parts of the performance, but then we’ve got to learn and make sure we’re better when we come up against different styles and different formations for when we head to Manchester City next weekend.”

On Ed Francis’ fitness

“Ed will be keen to play against his old club in Man City, but we will have to assess him as we think he’s got a high ankle sprain, so it needs to be scanned.

“We’ll see how he is, but it’s strapped up and in a boot. He’s down at the moment – which we knew he would be – as he has an injury, and we hope that he’s back as soon as possible because Ed’s a really key player for us.

“Obviously, we don’t want any injuries anyway, but we hope he’s not out for too long.”

COMING UP

The under-23s now have an international break until Saturday 14th September when they will travel to Academy Stadium to take on Manchester City side who have the same record as Wolves this season with both teams sat on four points in the Division 1 table, with kick-off at 1pm.

NEXT FIVE

14/09 Manchester City (A)

20/09 Arsenal (H)

27/09 Southampton (H)

20/10 Liverpool (A)

01/11 Tottenham Hotspur (H)

TEAMS

Wolves: Sondergaard, Buur, Sanderson, Francis (Nya 45), Kilman, Kitoloano, Watt, Perry (Samuels 64), Jordao, Ashley-Seal, Shabani.

Unused subs: Tsun Dai, Flavio, Diallo.

Leicester: Johansson, Johnson, Hughes, Clark (Daley-Campbell 86), Thomas, Leshabela (Wright 80), Dewsbury-Hall, Thomas, Hirst, Reghba (Felix-Eppiah 77), Muskwe.

Unused subs: Odunze, Tee.

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