Wayne wants ‘dominant performance’ in Monday’s Under-23 clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Sun 16 January 2022, 13:27|Tottenham Hotspur
Wayne Burnett has hailed a “brilliant opportunity” for our Under-23s as we gear up for Monday night’s Premier League 2 match against Blackburn Rovers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (kick-off 7pm UK).
Our talented young professionals will step out under the lights at our magnificent 62,000-capacity home for the first time this season – tickets are still available and are free for all Season Ticket Holders and Members – in what Under-23s Coach Wayne believes is a chance for them to not only show our supporters what they can do on the big stage, but also to get a further taste of what’s needed if they’re to progress to play high-profile games on a regular basis in the future.
“I’m really excited for this game because it’s a brilliant opportunity for our players to play at a fantastic stadium in front of our supporters, to express themselves, to show people what they’re capable of and leave an impression on everyone, but also to experience an environment similar to a first team matchday in terms of the surroundings, the demands and to continue to understand what is required if they’re going to play at the top level,” he said.
“I think for anyone who is coming to watch us play for the first time on Monday, they’ll see players who have certain identities that relate to how we play, players who always show a high work ethic and who show traits where we want to try to dominate the ball and get into our rhythm as soon as we can.
“We want to play like a top team in terms of dominating the ball and we’ve done that for the majority of the season, which has been really pleasing for me and the rest of the staff. Ultimately, we’re trying to develop players to play in Tottenham Hotspur’s first team so that’s our goal from a player development perspective, but we’re also trying to win football matches, we’re on the front foot in terms of how we play, we try to dominate the ball and we want to allow players to express themselves based on their strengths.”
We go into Monday’s match third in the Premier League 2 table and in flying form, having taken off on a three-month unbeaten run in the division that has seen us beat both Manchester clubs – including Manchester City twice, at home and away – and enjoy high-scoring wins over Leicester City and Everton. We’ve also had at least one of our players shortlisted for the Premier League 2 Player of the Month award in every month of the season barring December, where we only played once, that being a 3-0 win over City at Hotspur Way, as our performances have been recognised across the game. Opponents Blackburn are currently bottom, but gave us a stern test in an entertaining 3-3 draw in the reverse fixture in September.
While January inevitably brings about changes to his squad as some players look to gain first team opportunities in the EFL and overseas during the transfer window, Wayne expects whoever takes to the field on Monday and throughout the second half of the season to maintain the high standards he demands.
“We’ve had some really good results, but more importantly our performances have been really good, our work ethic has been exceptional and we’ve been consistent with our behaviours,” he added. “I say this every week, but that really comes from our training – we’ve trained consistently well over the course of the season and that’s been evident in our performances. We’ve scored quite a few goals and won quite a few games with the way in which we play so that’s been pleasing, but we have to keep going and now we face a very good Blackburn team who, regardless of their position in the league, will give us a very tough game. Again, though, as I’ve said to the players, it’s an opportunity for us this week to play on a high-profile platform and show everyone how good we can be, so hopefully we can continue our good form and our consistency, and give another good performance.”