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Wiles: The lads were outstanding tonight

13 November 2020

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Under 18s coach Simon Wiles spoke to the club after his side beat Walsall to earn their spot in the third round of the FA Youth Cup.

The young cods started the game as they meant to go on as they seemed to dominate throughout the game, with Joe Collins opening the scoring early on and that was followed up by a Covy Smith brace to finish off the tie.

Here is what Simon had to say after the game:

On the performance…

“I thought the lads were outstanding tonight. It was the performance we’ve been speaking about when we can get the intensity levels right across the pitch, we believe the players can break through oppositions and really go and create opportunities. I thought tonight we did that in abundance and it was a fantastic performance.

“We knew it was going to be difficult as they play with two up top so we knew that concentration levels would be vital for Sam [Barratt] and Lewis [Patterson], especially with [Sam] Bird and [Billy] Batch at full-backs covering round to pick anything up if we miss it and they win the flick ons.

“Defensively, there was a lot of conversation about being responsible for their roles, which they did well, and I thought when the ball did go beyond, we dealt with it. We used Conor [Eastham] at the back to help us play out and around their press and I thought everything about the performance tonight was pleasing.

On the energy in the side…

“We spoke about the energy in the side and how that need to come from the front. I thought Covy Smith’s work rate tonight was outstanding and he set the tone. He was well connected with Cian [Hayes] and Joe Collins up there and it made it very hard for Walsall to play out.

“If we made sure we won the battles in the middle of the pitch and won the second balls and when we do win the ball back in transition, we can find those team mates to create opportunities and I thought we did that really well.

“Everyone who started, and the players who came off the bench, showed the right energy and played through to the last minute of the game. We didn’t give Walsall many opportunities to get the ball down and play and that’s credit to the players – that was exactly what we were after.”

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