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PARALLEL POSITION

Posted on 7 February 2007  - 12:00

Alex Inglethorpe can see parallels between our first team campaign last season and our Under-18s this time around – and he’s using it positively.

Alex Inglethorpe can see parallels between our first team campaign last season and our Under-18s this time around – and he’s using it positively.The lads stepped back into action following the disappointing FA Youth Cup defeat at Chester City with a 2-1 victory against Bristol City in the FA Premier Academy League last weekend.

In a good, old-fashioned battle in testing, muddy conditions, goals from Leigh Mills after 10 minutes – a header from a corner - and Tomas Pekhart 20 minutes from time – a penalty - made it 11 league matches unbeaten and still just one league defeat all season. Pekhart’s goal was his 16th in 14 games so far.

It was an important victory after the Chester result and drew comparisons to how Martin Jol’s men recovered from Carling and FA Cup defeats last season.

“It was a test of character,” reflected coach Alex. “There was a will to win, players threw themselves in front of shots and there was no hint of rolling over in the battle and sometimes those wins are just as satisfying as when you’ve got the ball down and played.

“The good thing is that by and large we’ve performed well and we don’t want to let the Chester result cloud that. Anything can happen in a one-off game and that’s been proved down the years.

“The first team last season had a couple of cup disappointments but showed great resolve to maintain their league position. If anything, those results helped galvanise the side and we have to do the same.

“I think our league form is incredibly positive. We were without Jake Livermore last week as well as the likes of Terry Dixon, Matty Wells, Jamie Davis and Alex Smith – a number of our more senior trainees.

“That has worked to the benefit of players like Andros Townsend, who has had more opportunities, Yaser Kasim has done well, Jonathan Obike and Ryan Mason have both played for us from the Under-16s, so you are looking and thinking that there are four or five players who have featured and that’s very positive for us.”