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Club News


1 March 2016

'Carssy' gives his views on Town’s youngsters

- Interview with U18 Lead PD Coach Tony Carss
- Former midfielder happy with his players' progress
- Carss gives insight into philosophy under David Wagner

Professional Development Coach Tony Carss has praised Town’s Under-18 players for the progress they have made over the course of 2015/16 – but wants to see even more between now and the end of the season.

Tony’s comments came on the back of Saturday’s comprehensive 7-0 Professional Development League 2 North win at Coventry City; a score-line that will have caught the eye of many Town fans over the weekend.

“I think the improvement from the start of the season until now has been the biggest since I’ve been here, in terms of where the players have got to,” Tony told

“Because quite a few lads have stepped up to Under-21 level, the younger lads have had to play. It was a bit too early for some of them initially, but they’ve done well because of a great attitude to learning and hard work. Some of them are flying now. 

“I think a lot of that comes from how they’ve played all the time. For some of the young first year scholars, that has given them an extra bit of confidence and purpose. 

“Saturday’s performance was good. We played particularly well, moving the ball well, which all links into the Club’s philosophy and identity.” 

Any fans who have watched the Under-18s or Under-21s so far this term will recognise the similarities between their style and that of David Wagner’s First Team, with all three sides trying to play out from the back in a 4-2-3-1 formation. That is by design, with the youngsters learning to play the style of ‘full throttle’ football that Wagner demands.

“We play 4-2-3-1 and use the detail on that system that the First Team does. The key elements from the seniors, like reactive pressure, are now also key for us,” Tony continued. 

“The fact that the style of play is so clear is fantastic for the Club. It makes it straightforward for all the technical staff, as we know the type of football and players that the First Team needs. 

“Personally it has been great, because a lot of the values and philosophies at First Team level tie in with mine. As a result, embracing that and teaching it to the group has been easy. 

“Even before David (Wagner) came in, we were looking to play good, pressing football, so it would have been much tougher if we’d brought in a Head Coach who wanted to play long in a 4-4-2! David’s arrival has been fantastic for everyone.”

The goals for the Under-18s between now and the end of the season are clear; to continue to develop and to reach the PDL 2 Play-Offs in the process.

“From January, we’re looking for our players to make as big an improvement again before the end of the season. The season won’t fizzle out. 

“The lads who will be with the Under-21s have to work really hard between now and July to make sure they are at the level they need to be.

“Development is the most important thing for us, but the lads want to win as well; that’s part of developing. They know they are fourth in the league and they feel they can get into second place to reach the end of season Play-Offs.

“In terms of development, playing in big games like the Play-Offs is good in the long term. Hopefully we can push up the table and try to make that happen.” 

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