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Paul pleased for debutant Daniel

Posted on 1 May 2014  - 23:35

All eyes were on Jan Vertonghen and Etienne Capoue, but Development Squad coach Paul Brush was quick to praise the contribution of a player making his full debut at Under-21 level as our U21s beat Reading 4-2 on Sunday.

daniel_u21s

Young striker Daniel Akindayini was handed his chance after bagging 15 goals in 19 matches for our Under-18s this term.

And the youngster was a constant thorn in Reading's side - not least after we went down to 10 men following Nabil Bentaleb's red card at the end of the first half.

We led 2-0 at that point via penalties from Nabil and Ruben Lameiras as Jan and Etienne - both back from injury - helped the team dominate.

But the red card changed the game and Reading came out firing in the second half, levelling at 2-2 in thr 67th minute.

The sheer work rate of Daniel up front, ably supported by the likes of Ruben and Kenny McEvoy, enabled us to put Reading under pressure and when Ruben struck for 3-2, it seemed to deflate the visitors. Kenny secured a 4-2 win in injury time.

"Daniel showed good aggression and good ideas," said Paul. "It would have been great for him to score as well but with Jan and Etienne also returning, it was pleasing to see at both ends of the spectrum players got something out of the game.

"Daniel plays youth team football and he’s six-foot, six-foot-one but this time he was up against defenders at six-three, six-four. He handled himself well, especially with us down to 10 men and he put in a lot of work. It was a good start for him."