Frustrated Academy Coach praises second half spirit
Professional Development Coach Tony Carss told htafc.com that the hard work with Town’s young players doesn’t stop here after their 3-2 FA Youth Cup Fifth Round defeat at Nottingham Forest.
The young Terriers gave themselves a very tough task when a slow start allowed their impressive opponents to take a two goal lead inside 20 minutes, but a brace from Duane Holmes meant the game went right down to the wire.
“We’ve praised them for their spirit in the second half, as they never gave up and kept plugging away to try and get the equaliser,” Carss told the Club’s official website.
“However, we were really, really disappointed with the first half. We had spoken about how Forest had scored early in the two previous rounds and how important it was to keep things tight. We worked on being nice and bright and unfortunately that went out of the window, for whatever reason.
“Momentum is talked about a lot in football and we certainly handed them that early on by giving them a two goal lead. We scored the goal to get back into the game and we were hoping we could get in at half time on that scoreline and tidied up a few important things, but we switched off again defensively and allowed them to score what was a very avoidable goal.
“Nottingham Forest have a lot of good players and move the ball really well, so if you are slightly off it you get punished. That was the case in the first half, for sure.”
Carss believes that great lessons can be taken from tonight’s big game:
“That’s young players for you. It’s a learning curve for them, as they have to develop that mentality of being reliable in your role, understand it and be affective with it. It can’t take you 20 minutes to start doing the things you should be doing and that was the way it went tonight, unfortunately.
“That’s disappointing, but it’s all about learning with young players. We reached a really high standard in the previous rounds, especially out of possession, but we couldn’t replicate it tonight in the first 45 minutes against a very good team.”
Reaching the Fifth Round of the competition for the first time in a decade is a real landmark for the Academy and Carss shifted the praise onto his players:
“We’ve praised them for all their efforts and congratulated them for the run and performances they’ve had in the Youth Cup. They’ve played very well in the previous two rounds and for the attitude and desire they showed in the second half tonight.
“We have told them this was another opportunity for them and had they performed as they can do, they would have been in with a good shout of getting into the next round. The lads are obviously really, really disappointed – we’re all gutted – but we’ll work with the players, because our season doesn’t stop here. We play Coventry on Saturday and again, it’s all about improving and learning from tonight and taking it into the League games, because we want to finish the League really strongly and get as high up as we can.
“Fortunately we will play Forest again in the League and we need to make sure we come out of that game with a lot of credit and perform in that game for 90 minutes as we know we can. That’s certainly a target for us.”