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Anderson On U18s' Birmingham City Draw

Anderson On U18s' Birmingham City Draw

John Anderson admitted he was 'fairly happy' with a point from Saturday's 2-2 U18 Professional Development League draw with Birmingham City.

An action-packed first-half saw four goals scored, with the Tigers twice coming from behind to claim a share of the spoils thanks to a brace from Will Jarvis.

Read Anderson’s assessment of the U18 Professional Development League stalemate below…

On the point gained...
I think it was a half-decent point, although we maybe could have won it with the chances we created in the second half. We hit the post and should have had a penalty, but overall we're fairly happy with the point considering we were behind twice in the game.

In the first half, as we keep saying to the boys, we were too passive. We never got close to them and when they did have good possession, we weren’t organised enough off the ball and didn’t have a good enough shape to us. And if you let good players play, they’ll play and that’s exactly what Birmingham did in the first 45 minutes. Lucky enough, when we did have the ball, we were able to do something with it ourselves, meaning we went into the break level at 2-2. 

I thought we played with a bit more intensity second half. We got a bit tighter, we were better organised and, with a bit more luck, we could have come out as winners. We were the better team after the break, especially so in the first 25 minutes of the second half. The boys were frustrated afterwards because they wanted to win the game but we'll take the point and move on.

On his team's energy levels...
I asked them all how they felt after the game and they said 'knackered' - and that's exactly the way they should be feeling after every game! Some of them had their hands on their knees at the 80-minute mark and we said that’s the way it should be. It’s about running, tackling, competing; all the basics you need to do before you even get a ball at your feet.

We need to do more and be better at it. We were better in the second half and, because of that, we created more chances. On the back of those chances, it was a little frustrating that we didn't get the win, but the big positive to take from the second half was that we didn't concede.

On injuries sustained during the game...
It’s not one hundred per cent confirmed, but we think Andy Smith suffered a bit of concussion. I’m not sure what happened, but obviously, he got some sort of knock to the head and he was a little bit out of it. Matty Swift and Jake Leake both came off the pitch with bloody noses but they're nothing serious. In football, you've got to put your head in where it hurts at times and that's exactly what the lads did on Saturday, so full credit to them for that.

On Will Jarvis' positive start to 2020...
Will has done well. He can still get better and he can still improve, especially in the off-the-ball stuff, but he’s shown improvements. We're seeing that in his performances now and he was rewarded with two goals at the weekend. We’ve said to Will that when he gets on the ball and he gets faced up with his opponent, he’s always a threat. He’s got pace, he runs well with the ball and he can both create and score goals. He’s just got to keep developing, keep working hard, keep learning and keep getting better at the off-the-ball side of the game.