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ACADEMY REPORT

Posted on 16 January 2007  - 12:00

Alex Inglethorpe says he welcomes the challenge of having to break down teams that set up defensively against our Under-18s.

Alex Inglethorpe says he welcomes the challenge of having to break down teams that set up defensively against our Under-18s.That was the case against Birmingham City in the FA Premier Academy League clash at Spurs Lodge on Saturday when the Blues – no doubt with our 4-1 away win against them still fresh in the minds – proved a tough nut to crack in a goalless draw.

Coach Alex reported: “Birmingham set up to make it very difficult for us.

“They were very complimentary about us when we played them away, told us we were the best side they'd played and probably with that in mind, came here with a very defensive formation, dropped off and tried to hit us on the break.

“We controlled it in the first half without really penetrating and in the second half we got lulled into a battle that we needed to stay out of.

“We needed to keep doing what we were doing in the first half and our rewards would have come. That said, maybe a Tomas Pekhart, Jamie Davis or Jake Livermore (all out injured) might have given us the power or guile we needed just to do something a little more than we did.

“I think it's a great challenge to try and break that system down. We had more than enough possession to try and solve the problems Birmingham posed and maybe with a little more quality we would have done it, but credit to Birmingham, they did what they did very well.

“I would say it was a satisfactory performance in patches without reaching some of the levels we've reached this season.”

The lads have still lost just once in the league and are on a run of 12 matches unbeaten.

Spurs U18s: Button, Mtandari (Medley, 75), Martin, Hutchins, Archibald-Henville, Casey, Hughton, Wells (Kasim, 70), Fraser-Allen, Hutton, Townsend. Unused subs: Smith, Stroud.