We scored twice in the last 10 minutes upon our return to domestic duties at Cobham, first with a well-taken strike from Ryan Loft and then with a Marcus Edwards cross that was turned into his own net by Blues defender Ali Suljic under pressure from Keanan Bennetts.
But the hosts were already four goals up by that stage and, with the 4-2 defeat coming just a matter of days after our FA Youth Cup exit at the hands of Middlesbrough, Under-18s Coach Kieran wants to see the players cut out the mistakes that led to the Blues’ goals and show greater belief on the pitch in our upcoming tournament campaign in Mexico.
“We started the game really well with good intent and had a couple of good chances early in the game that we could have capitalised on, but I thought as soon as Chelsea scored from our first mistake the boys really dropped their heads and you could see maybe a lack of belief after a difficult week that included the defeat in the FA Youth Cup,” he reflected.
“It wasn’t the response we wanted after going a goal down and from there I thought we were second best. The subs (Ryan Loft, Marcus Edwards and Zenon Stylianides) made an impact in the second half, we scored a couple of goals and could perhaps have got another, but really the game was gone at that stage.
“We need to be able to compete well in the tough bits of the game and character is very important now. Wednesday night was a disappointment but what you’ve got to do in football is respond, show character individually and support your team-mates.
“With a trip to Mexico coming up now, it’s an opportunity for the boys to regroup and focus on getting better individually and as a team.”