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Walkes reflects on City draw for Under-21s

Posted on 15 August 2015  - 07:17

Anton Walkes relished the chance to get forward from left-back in our Under-21s’ clash with Manchester City on Friday.

Anton Walkes in action at City on FridayAnton (3) congratulates Kenny McEvoy on his opening goal

The versatile defender, usually utilised more centrally, was drafted in at left full-back for the trip to City Football Academy and produced an eye-catching performance in our 3-3 draw.

It’s a role he’s played before – notably in the side that reached the FA Youth Cup semi-finals last season – and the 18-year-old confirmed he was happy to do a job for the team in that position again as we came up against a powerful City side in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.

“It’s good experience for me and it’s no problem at all to play at left-back,” said Anton, who launched a handful of attacks down his flank throughout the game, one of which almost led to a goal as he found Shayon Harrison in the box, whose cut-back was sent over the bar by Emmanuel Sonupe.

“I was able to get forward and I was glad I could show my energy and my passing ability to find the wide players and the nine. It was good to go and link up with them when I went forward too.

“Defensively, though, as a team I think we dealt with things quite well, apart from a few times when maybe we could have done things a bit quicker.

“I think we have to voice ourselves a bit better out on the pitch and make sure we tell each other to get back so we can see the game out.”

Unfortunately, despite Christian Maghoma’s 90th-minute header putting us 3-2 in front, we were unable to clinch the points on Friday as City grabbed a stoppage time leveller through Bersant Celina.

Individual errors had come into play earlier in the game – and that’s something Anton says the players are keen to address in training.

“I felt we dominated the game from kick-off, imposed ourselves very well and played in our style – it’s just unfortunate about the result and I’m very disappointed we only got a draw,” he added.

“There were definitely a few things we can learn from and look to improve on in training. We also needed to impose ourselves a bit more in their box and be a bit more ruthless.”