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Leicester U18s 3-1 Spurs - Kieran's verdict

07 March 2016|Tottenham Hotspur

Under-18s Coach Kieran McKenna praised Jack Roles after the midfielder netted his second goal in as many games in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Leicester City.

After Harvey Barnes and Kairo Mitchell had given the Foxes a two-goal lead in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League contest at their training ground, Jack popped up to reduce the arrears with 55 minutes gone, having opened his account in last week’s 4-3 home win over West Bromwich Albion.

Unfortunately we couldn’t build on that and Leicester went on to score a third through Barnes but, despite the result, Kieran saw certain positives out on the pitch – including the performances of Jack and Under-16s regulars Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Nya Kirby, the latter on his first start at Under-18 level.

“It was really pleasing for Jack to score again,” Kieran said. “We know, for Jack, that it’s a big part of his game and it’s something he tends to do well in terms of arriving in good time in the box.


“He usually has good instincts in the area and obviously he’s got his goal this weekend but he also had other chances as well where I’m sure he would think that he should have scored, but the important thing going forward is that he keeps getting in there and keeps getting opportunities to score.

“There are obviously other aspects of his game that he’s working hard to improve on and he needs to continue to do so but he was one of the positives from the game this weekend, as were the two Under-16s players. Nya Kirby, on his first start, showed some really good things on the ball and was brave in his play and then Tashan came on in the second half and had a good technical impact on the game.

“In the match as a whole, I thought we made a positive start on the ball and created a couple of opportunities early in the game but we were disappointed with their first and second goals and how we defended them.

“We found ourselves 2-0 down despite having played some good football and from there it’s always tough. There was a good response at the start of the second half, we played with a greater intensity and got back into it at 2-1, but probably never really did enough to put them under serious pressure and then got caught at the end when we were chasing the game. There were positives in there but a lot of things to get better on as well.”