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U18s Cardiff City (h) Reaction: John Anderson

U18s Cardiff City (h) Reaction: John Anderson

John Anderson was happy to see his Hull City U18s keep a clean sheet and pick up a point in their season opener against Cardiff City on Saturday.

Both sides had opportunities to claim all three points in the U18 Professional Development League clash at Bishop Burton College with goalkeepers David Robson and Jaimie Cogman producing a number of key saves to ensure it finished goalless.

Read Anderson's post-match assessment below…

On the importance of keeping a clean sheet...
We spoke to the lads before the game about pre-season and the number of goals we've conceded in our friendlies, so to get the clean sheet and a point from our opening game - I was delighted. With the chances we created in the game, we maybe could have come away with all three points but, to be fair, David Robson made a couple of fine saves that kept us in the game as well. All in all, we're happy with the point - it was a fair reflection of the game."

On his side's game-plan...
We didn’t set up to play on the counter-attack. We set up most teams in the Academy to get on the ball and try to dictate the game ourselves but, to be fair to Cardiff one of their back four stepped into the midfield to create that overload and we struggled to deal with that at first. However, once we got to grips with it, we let them have the ball and when we won the ball back, we broke. It wasn't the game-plan going into the match but it worked quite well for us. We actually looked quite good when we dropped into our shape and broke quite quickly. We needed more end product in the final third, but take nothing away from the boys - they played well and deserved a point for their efforts.

On six first-year scholars being involved...
We're quite heavy this year for first-years and I know Cardiff were the same with twelve, so it's always a steep learning curve for them because they come into the building and have two months of pre-season straight from school. It's a real culture shock for them but full credit to them all, they were great. They worked hard in all areas of the pitch and it was great to see them competing very well.

On David Robson's performance...
David came back in really good shape and you can see there is a real maturity to him, which he showed on Saturday with the way he was talking to the back four and commanding his area. Although he still had a couple of rushes to the blood to the head such as when he came out for the clearance, some of his saves and his general kicking was excellent. He kept us in the game on a couple of occasions. I know Steve Croudson does a lot of hard work with the keepers so he takes a lot of credit for that, but we’re lucky we have three good goalkeepers in the U18s set-up with Harvey Cartwright, Harry Fisk and David.

On missed chances...
We said to the boys after the game that we were pleased with the clean sheet. We defended reasonably well, although we relied on our goalkeeper a bit to ensure we got the draw. Going forward though, as I say, we broke well at times and caused their backline problems when we did. We just needed to be a little bit more clinical and show a wee bit more quality in the final third. But, importantly, we still created the chances, we just need to work on improving that final ball and our finishing.