Our Academy Manager was left disappointed after the lads crashed to a 2-0 defeat in their first match of the competition against Fluminense on Friday afternoon.
But after we controlled large parts of the game in a 1-1 draw against Cruzeiro in our second outing of the day, John was a lot happier with the performances on show.
“The first game was really disappointing,” he reflected. “It was possibly one of our most disappointing performances of the season and we got what we deserved, which was nothing.
“The second game was a complete transformation, though. We showed fantastic intent, we were aggressive and the game was played according to the way we wanted to play it.”
We went 1-0 down against the run of play against Cruzeiro, but a penalty won by the lively Nathan Oduwa presented Harry Winks with the chance to equalise.
He duly scored from 12 yards but, although Shayon Harrison and Emmanuel Sonupe went close later on, we were unable to find a winner.
“We weren’t quite able to translate our possession, chances and domination into a second goal,” said John, who reserved praise for Oduwa after a good day’s work by the young wide player.
“Nathan was outstanding throughout the day. He’s been very, very good and I’m really pleased with him.
“He’s possibly been the stand-out player of the whole tournament so far. We know he’s got talent, but the challenge for him now is to sustain it.”