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United U21s 3-1 Spurs - Ugo's verdict

Posted on 5 January 2016  - 08:45

Ugo Ehiogu left Leigh Sports Village in a determined mood after our 3-1 loss against Manchester United in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.

It was a frustrating night for coach UgoJoe Pritchard (15) heads home for 2-1

That determination was to show that Monday night's below-par display was a one-off when the team steps out again in front of the live TV cameras when we take on Chelsea at Stevenage's Lamex Stadium next week - Monday's clash against the Blues is on Sky Sports 1 (7pm).

Ugo admitted too many players 'weren't at it' as United forged 2-0 ahead before substitute Joe Pritchard sowed the seed of a possible recovery by heading home for 2-1 with 13 minutes remaining.

However, late pressure wasn't turned into clear-cut chances and United caught us on the counter-attack in injury time to wrap up the points.

"It's a bitter pill to swallow, a lot of the players just didn't turn up and that's unusual for this team," said coach Ugo.

"There were a low of below-par performances and that's frustrating and disappointing - disappointing because we've been on a good run but stopped doing the things that we've been doing over the last seven or eight games.

"You can have a bad game - we've always said that - but you still have to show enough of your identity and work ethic. We had a rally at 2-1, the substitutes came on and gave us that impact, but generally it's a missed opportunity."

The positive note of the night was Pritchard's cameo off the bench with his first goal in his sixth appearance at Under-21 level.

Those appearances are spread over three seasons with the young midfielder on his way back from a broken leg that kept him out for the best part of a year between November, 2014 and November 2015 - this was his second outing off the bench since his return.

"Joe has had to be patient, a lot of questions have been asked of him but he always comes in with a smile, is always positive and it's really pleasing for him," added Ugo. "It's just a shame we couldn't capitalise further on his goal.

"I'm pleased for Cy Goddard and Will Miller as well, they both look stronger and are starting to ask questions of some of the other players.

"We now have a massive game against Chelsea, live on Sky. It's always a competitive game. We'll get back on the training pitch, get this game out of our system, have a look at where it went wrong. The players have always responded well to adversity, so that's the process. That's football."