HTAFC’s Senior Professional Development Coach comments on victory
- Highlights of U21 win at Southampton
- Reaction from SPD Coach Frankie Bunn
- Frank delighted with progress of players
Town’s Senior Professional Development Coach Frankie Bunn rates the performance in last night’s Under-21 Premier League Cup win at Southampton as one of the best he has seen at the Club.
Goals from Jack Senior and Danny Kane gave the Development Squad a deserved win over the holders of the Cup at St. Mary’s Stadium, which sees the side progress to the quarter finals of the competition.
Highlights of the game are below via HTTV
; thanks to the hosts for the multi-angle footage.
“It’s either number one or two; it’s up there with the Under-18’s FA Youth Cup win over Manchester United,” Frankie told htafc.com on Tuesday morning.
“Southampton has a great reputation for what it has achieved at youth level, producing some magnificent players, and has a Category One Academy, so last night’s result and performance was one of the highlights of my tenure here.
“Southampton’s staff were very dignified in defeat and complimentary about the way we played the game, as well as the individuals in the team.
“I felt quite comfortable last night; after an equal first 10 minutes, I thought we dominated the next 70 before the final stages, where we had to see the game out. In that 70 minutes, we were fantastic.”
The ultimate purpose of the Under-21 squad is to produce players for the big stage of the Sky Bet Championship and beyond, so Bunn was delighted to see his players embrace the occasion of facing the holders at the magnificent St. Mary’s Stadium.
“These players have been there before, playing in major stadia in league Play-Off semi-finals and finals. A handful of them are also getting the taste of First Team football now, so all that will hopefully stand them in good stead for the future.
“They’re progressing quite well at the moment; I’m so pleased with everybody. They all have ups and downs, but they are young. They will make mistakes and that’s fine as long as they learn from them.”
Fans watching the young Terriers in person or on YouTube will have noted the similarities between the Under-21s and David Wagner’s First Team; both sides play 4-2-3-1 with attack-minded full backs, an emphasis on possession and an organised, high press off the ball.
Frankie explained: “The style of football is important, as these players have to be fully up to speed with the way the Head Coach wants to play. We try and incorporate that in everything we do during the week and during games so it is not a shock to their system when they get there.
“I think the way we are passing the ball has improved immensely from when we started pre-season. The tempo at which we play and some of the passing is at a very high standard; you need to do that to unlock teams and win games.
“The majority of the players can handle the ball really well and the Head Coach wants to see that. Some of our movement off the ball is very good as well.
“That’s credit to the players, who take a lot of information on board in our preparation for the games. They’re all progressing along really well.”
Next up in the competition is a home tie with Charlton Athletic; a regular foe at youth level as well as for the First Team in recent memory!
Bunn concluded: “They are always quite high in the rankings and have a good Academy setup. It’ll be another battle, as it always is; every time we have played, they have been quite brutal games. We’ll see how we deal with that.”