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Spurs 0-1 Villa U18s - Kieran's verdict

Posted on 17 April 2016  - 11:05

Kieran McKenna highlighted the need for our Under-18s to be able to respond to setbacks after Saturday’s 1-0 home loss to Aston Villa.

Samuel Shashoua on the ball against Aston VillaShilow Tracey stays focused

We controlled the possession for large parts of the first half and created a handful of opportunities, but the lads were seemingly knocked off the rails when Christian Maghoma’s unfortunate own goal gifted Villa the lead two minutes after half-time.

We did manage to carve out some openings after that but were unable to find an equaliser with Kieran, our Under-18s Coach, looking back with disappointment after the final whistle.

“It was a really poor, bizarre goal to concede but it was one moment in the match and we had plenty of chances to score to make up for it or to have taken the lead before it happened,” he said.

“Obviously the goal was a disappointing moment, it seemed to knock the stuffing out of us a little bit, but as I said it’s one moment and you’ve always got to be able to account for that and respond but we didn’t do that well enough.

“I thought there were lots of positive aspects to the first half, we had good chances at the end of the game as well but I guess it’s a similar story to last week in that we haven’t been clinical enough in the final third and you always know that anything can happen to concede one goal, so it’s disappointing to lose the game in the end.”

Our starting line-up consisted of four Under-16s players as further Barclays Under-18 Premier League opportunities were handed to Jon Dinzeyi, Nya Kirby and Tashan Oakley-Boothe, with Reo Griffiths coming in for his debut at the higher level.

Kieran praised the quartet afterwards, but highlighted the need for them to keep working hard in order to establish themselves further up the ladder.

“It was a valuable experience for them and I thought they all showed why they’re going to be in the building next year,” he said. “They all showed the potential that they’ve got and they all showed areas that they need to work on, but you’d expect that at their age.

“If they apply themselves well, the four boys who started have all got a good chance of progressing well.”