Mark believes results are indicative of development
- Mark Hudson gives update on Under-23 squad
- Hudson: “results indicative of development & performance
- Mark hails influence of senior players
Mark Hudson believes the recent excellent results delivered by Town’s Under-23 group is evidence that the Club’s young players are developing and embracing the ‘Terriers Identity’.
Upon being appointed to the role of Under-23 Coach in early January 2018, Mark explained that results wold be up and down as the young players were presented with challenges on the training pitch and in games.
However, the results have picked up dramatically, with a run of nine wins from 11 in all competitions propelling the team up the Professional Development League table to sit just three points away from second placed Sheffield Wednesday.
“What I said back in January still stands; the focus of this group is on development of players and performance,” Mark told htafc.com.
“I think that the run of results we’ve enjoyed is evidence that the players have really embraced the ideas we’re giving them on the training pitch and are applying it correctly in games, so it’s only natural that results will follow.
“I’m really proud of the group; they’re playing and training very well and enjoying our work together. They’re full of confidence now.”
However, ‘Huddy’ explains that the learning process is still in the early stages.
“We’re still a long way from getting the details of the ‘Terriers Identity’ totally right.
“I played this style and there’s a lot of detail to take on board and learn. We’re working in six-week cycles and we’ve started with the basics of getting reactive pressure correct, which is a real fundamental of the style of play. They’re now showing that in games, so credit to the players.”
Another feature of Hudson’s recent selections has been the influx of senior players in games. Dean Whitehead has been a regular in the Under-23s recently while the likes of Chris Löwe and Scott Malone featured in the last game – the 2-1 win at Sheffield United on Monday.
“It’s been great to have the senior players in the group,” Mark continued. “It’s important we can help the First Team when they need it; Scott played 45 minutes for us in the week and then started for the First Team on Saturday.
“It’s also great for the young lads to see first-hand the level of intensity and professional attitude that’s required to make it as a professional; it raises our standards. We’ve got two midfielders in Matty Daly and Scott High playing for the Under-23s having just turned 17 and for them to play alongside a player like Dean Whitehead is so valuable.
“As a young player at Fulham, I remember playing alongside Chris Coleman in the reserves as he returned to fitness and I picked up so much.”
The season continues for Hudson’s group at Nottingham Forest on Friday afternoon and he explained that the Academy will continue to set challenges for the Club’s young players to help them improve.
“Everyone in the Academy agrees that players need challenges to learn and improve and we’ll keep setting those.
“That can be in training, in games or through the loan spells we’ve seen recently. We all agree that exposure to First Team football is important and the spells in non-league have worked so far. They get the exposure to senior games and they can still train with us in the week.”