Dean Whitehead reviews the Under-17s draw with Fleetwood in the Clarets Cup
- Comments from U17 Coach Dean Whitehead on Clarets Cup performance
- Whitehead looks ahead to Town’s upcoming game against Oldham
- Deano explains how the players can learn from the Fleetwood game
Under-17s Coach Dean Whitehead explained how the youngsters can learn from their latest performance in the Clarets Cup.
The Young Terriers had already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition before the final group match against Fleetwood Town, which took place yesterday (Wednesday 12 December 2018).
The game finished 1-1 at PPG Canalside and ‘Deano’ explained what the youngsters can take away from the game.
“Fleetwood started better than us, we made too many mistakes trying to play out and building up from the back.
“They put a lot of pressure on us high, but we didn’t make the right decisions to deal with that.
“All in all, we’ve learned that when teams high press us we have to find different options and solutions to rectify that. We have to find that better quality of passing.”
Despite that, Town’s Under-17s Coach reserved special praise for striker Kian Harratt (below).
The youngster scored his 22nd goal of the 2018/19 campaign from the penalty spot, which gave Town the lead.
“He’s a real goal scorer, he always wants to put the ball in the back of the net, he’s always in the right place to do that; he’s hungry, willing and open to learning,” explained Dean Whitehead.
“His hold up play is improving, there’s still a lot to improve on, but he’s improving rapidly. He’s a real goal scorer for us.”
The rainy weather also made the game harder for the Young Terriers as the conditions of the pitch changed quite considerably.
“A few of the lads come 60/65 minutes were feeling their legs a little bit,” admitted Deano.
“But they knew they had to get on with it in those tough, soft conditions.
“Their bodies would’ve been stiff and achy today, but we now have to prepare them for Saturday because with the injuries we have, we haven’t got too many options.”
There’s quick turnaround in fixtures for the Young Terriers as they now prepare to face Oldham Athletic in the Youth Alliance.
Deano explained how the focus on the team changes between the league and cup competitions.
“In the Clarets Cup game, we will give them a plan, they’ll come up with some ideas, and we will try to win the game.
“Whereas in the Youth Alliance, we use them as development games to learn things, try new things and to make sure that everyone knows our identity.
“Ultimately, we look at performances, not the results too much in the league games, it’s about them having the physicality and being able to cope with it.
“They are improving playing against older players, you can see the physicality developing in some of the young lads.”
Since joining the Club in the summer, Town’s youngsters have played in a variety of different systems and shapes. Deano explained how they will set up on Saturday.
“We will press them high in a 3-5-2 formation because they like to play out from the back, so we will put our lads in a system where we can lock on to them best up the pitch.
“In possession we will then play out with our normal structure, keeping the wing backs high and the wingers tucked inside.”
Town supporters can watch the Young Terriers’ final game of 2018 for free! The match takes place on Saturday 15 December 2018 at Oldham’s Chapel Road Training Ground (OL8 4QL) and kicks off at 11am.
Town's U17 team vs Fleetwood Town (4-2-3-1)
Giosue Bellagambi; Jaheim Headley, Mohammed Diaby (Nassim Kherbouche, 70'), Tom Bamford, George Alfieri; Tom Bell (c) (Remi Thompson, 62'), Taylor Annakin; Andrew Ijiwole, Josh Austerfield, Darnell Mintus; Kian Harratt
Kian Harratt (p), 18'