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Whittaker: There wasn't a bad performance tonight, but there’s bits we can improve on

30 August 2022

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Fleetwood Town Assistant Head Coach Steven Whittaker spoke to the local media following Cod’s 1-1 draw against Barrow AFC in the Papa John’s Trophy.

The match saw both teams make changes after their league matches at the weekend, with Town having 7 academy graduates on the bench for the group stage game against the Bluebirds.

Here's what Steven had to say after the game:

Whittaker had this to say on the match...

“I thought we started the game as well as we have done in recent weeks. I thought we really took the game to them, and we got back to pressing high, winning the ball back in their half and created some chances from that. I think the goal at the point was deserved but then we kind of stopped doing that for the last 15 minutes of the half and invited a bit of pressure. Credit to Barrow, they took advantage of that.

“I think we hit the post after 30 seconds, so it was really our first attack so that’s a great start, and that was our intent to go and try and win the game early. Goals change games and change mentality and it was about it trying to repeat that regardless of the score line and try and keep that intensity in the game.

We started going more on the back foot after getting ahead and that probably cost us on the night. It was a great goal, we encouraged Brendan to go and try and join in the play a bit more so it's great to see him up that high and he finished it tremendously well.”

On the young team wanting to improve & taking chances…

Everyone is the same. They’re still young men learning the game. We can all get better; Brendan is no different, he’s on the training ground, he wants to improve, he wants to learn so it’s our job to try and give him that information and then he steps up to it on the pitch.

It was something that when we were taking the job, you want to continue that and give players the opportunity at that level and if we think they’re good enough, in games like this we can see if they can handle it.

“Everyone has earned their jersey and it’s about them stepping up and showing us what they can do. There wasn’t a bad performance today, we’ll analyse it, look over it and try and make improvements to their performance as well.

The young lads did fine. There’s bits we can improve on, there’s bits they did well. We’ll go over that with them so that they can see the pictures of what they did do well and not so much. We’ll do that with all the young ones. It’s about learning, understanding what was needed and what they maybe didn’t do so well, and we’ll get back to work on Thursday and take it from there.”

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