Development Squad Coach Stephen Crainey spoke to the press after Tuesday’s pre-season run out against Wrexham at Poolfoot Farm.
Crainey – who took the friendly at Poolfoot Farm – saw the positives from the outing for the young Cods against the Red Dragons as he was able to see the spirit within the side as they plowed through a tough game and persisted in creating chances until the final whistle.
In this interview, Stephen had this to say:
On the younger players' pre-season experience…
“It was a good experience for the lads. We’ve been giving the Under-23s a lot of praise on the ball because I think they play some good football, but they game up against a physical outfit today. The younger lads kept going, that’s the mentality that they’ve got and that’s what they need moving forward in everything that they do.
“The main process from pre-season is for the players to be ready for the next game and I think the lads are certainly ready. We’ve also not picked up any injuries today, which is a positive from the day.
“I think they’ve got unbelievable ability on the ball, but they need to become physically stronger and that showed a bit today. Hopefully, they can process that quickly, store it and not let it out. I said to the younger lads who came on with 15 minutes to go: ‘go and affect the game, go and do what you do every day in training’ and I thought they did that.”
On providing first-team opportunities…
“Our main focus is the academy, and we want as many lads in that first team as possible. Games like this show the manager and the first team staff where they’re at individually, but I want to keep driving these lads every single day and that will never stop as long as their application is there at the same time.
“The lads have got chances every day in training and also matches like today where the first-team staff are watching so they do have opportunities to impress them and today was no different. Hopefully, a couple have made an impression as there were a couple of decent individual performances in there.
“It’s that intensity in the first half that we need to match, and I thought we were just a little bit late getting there, to get a bit of contact, tracking runners, but there are loads to learn from for them and I’ll implement those aspects in training and they’ll get better at it."