Rob Edwards was delighted with his side’s application and attitude as they started their Leasing.com Trophy campaign with victory with Carlisle United.
Twice pegged back by the League Two side, but Edwards’ much-changed team showed resilience to keep finding a response, thanks in large part to Benny Ashley-Seal’s hat-trick. A big advocate of the competition, for the competitive experience it gives his players, Edwards spoke positively of the exercise post-match.
On the victory
“We’re pleased to win, first and foremost. I’m delighted with the players for their performance, we made a number of changes and the players that came in acquitted themselves well, they showed a great attitude and aptitude to what we’re trying to do.
“There’s still things to improve on, no doubt about that, but after a long journey, to come away to a League Two team and score four goals is really pleasing.”
On the competition
“This is preparing the lads for the next step. This is what the competition is great for from our point of view. We made the most of it tonight, the pitch was outstanding, good facilities to play in.
“There were a few people in the crowd which was good, we want more to create the realism for the boys, but it was a good game, a good test.
“There’s still bits to work on, no doubt about that, it was by no means a perfect performance, but you don’t like to complain when you come away, score four goals and win the game.”
On his team’s game management
“The lads are pretty good at keeping calm and carrying on playing because it’s what we do. We made one or two errors for their goals, we can do slightly better, but they picked themselves up.
“I was delighted with the lads’ character in the second-half, in the middle part we showed some good quality and control. Then they started to push, made one or two changes, and the game got a bit stretched, we could have been better, they had one or two chances they shouldn’t have had, but it’s learning for the lads.”
On Ashley-Seal’s performance
“It’s great for him, he’s been out with an illness, and was brought back in but has repaid not only us, but the lads as well with a really good performance. He was strong, when we went direct into him, he was winning headers and making it difficult for the opposition, then we ruthless in front of goal.
“Getting a hat-trick, which in this kind of occasion is really good for him. He showed people coming to watch what he’s about which is what the whole competition is about.”
On his side’s strength in depth
“It’s a real challenge for the lads, especially when you’ve been out and not played much football, to find a rhythm is difficult.
“We were never going to be at our real fluid best, we’ve spoken about it before when we’ve had to make a number of changes, but that’s one of the most pleasing things, when players come in, who haven’t been playing as much, and show an understanding and can apply what we’re trying to do.”
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