First team coach Barry Nicholson spoke to the press after Fleetwood Town’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa Under 21s at Highbury on Tuesday.
Fleetwood came out the blocks firing as Harvey Saunders scored the first goal of the day within two minutes of the starting whistle. He doubled that soon after before finishing off his perfect hat-trick with a diving header just before the 15-minute mark.
Here’s what Barry had to say after the match:
On the result…
“It was a really good performance, the first half we were really pleased with, the second half there was more of a control in the game.
“We were trying to give them not a lot of chances, we wanted a clean sheet massively. I think that gives everyone a boost going into the game on Friday having a clean sheet, it’s the first one for a while.
“It was a young team, a couple of old heads in there, Couttsy (Paul Coutts), Mark Duffy as well which really helped the performance, settle things down, put a foot on the ball when they had to and overall we’re really pleased in the coaching room.”
On the young players…
“They give us their all every day. Stephen Crainey has worked really hard with the under 23s for the last year and a bit to try and get the structure right and to try and play the way that the first team do and I think it showed from the outset.
“I think the intensity at the start was really special. I think we were three up within 15, 16 minutes or something like that so a great start for us and when you get a start like that you can then control the game.
“We try and push the young ones as much as we can and obviously a few under 18s got on the pitch there as well, Akiel Raffie and Cian Hayes so things are looking good from an academy point of view. They’ve just got to keep working hard and hopefully make an impact in the first team in the future.”
On Harvey Saunders…
“Harvey works his socks off every day, that’s his character. He wants to learn and he wants to listen but he’s knuckled down, he’s working hard at parts of his game that he’s maybe not so good at.
“Mangs (Andy Mangan) has worked really hard with the finishing side of things, I think it was the perfect hat-trick, right, left, header and you can’t ask for anything more than that and he goes away with the match ball tonight and I’m sure he’ll be pleased with his contribution.”