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Zenon reflects on United loss

Posted on 20 April 2016  - 10:00

Zenon Stylianides felt our Under-21s stood up to Manchester United well for large parts of Monday’s clash at White Hart Lane.


The young central midfielder, who has moved up into the fold from the Under-18s in recent weeks, provided the assist for Will Miller’s goal as we worked our way back from an early 2-0 deficit to draw level at 2-2 – only for the Red Devils to snatch the win – and the Barclays Under-21 Premier League title – with a stoppage-time volley from Guillermo Varela.

For Zenon, 18, it was a cruel end to a hard evening’s graft.

“Obviously we’re gutted with the loss – the last goal was a real blow right at the end,” he said. “We had most of the possession and created a lot of chances but they had that cutting edge to kill the game off.

“The match was very fast, very competitive, but I think we dealt with it quite well and got forward at times. We played well but it’s what’s on the scoresheet at the end that’s decisive.”

Our last two Under-21s matches against Sunderland and United, both at White Hart Lane, have seen Zenon team up with Harry Winks in central midfield. With Harry having been in and around the first team squad all season, Zenon says the chance to operate alongside the England Under-20 international has been invaluable.

“I think we adapted quite well to playing as a two together in the games against Sunderland and United,” added the Edmonton-born youngster.

“Obviously we’ve been in the same formation as the first team and he’s been up there this season so, for me, it’s good to see where he’s at and try to learn from him. I think his character is great – even off the ball. He makes sure the team is together and does his bit.”

After playing 19 times for the Under-18s since the beginning of the season, our Barclays Under-21 Premier League campaign has come to an end with Zenon having made six starts and two substitute appearances at the higher level.

Four of those starts have come in the last five games, but the midfielder says the hard work isn’t going to stop now.

“I think it’s been a positive season for me but I’m just focused on the here and now,” he said.

“Obviously I’m looking to hopefully break through and stamp down a place in the Under-21s on a regular basis. I’ve just got to keep my head down, keep working hard in training and see how it goes.”