Academy manager in positive mood...
ACADEMY manager, Neil Woods, saw plenty of reasons to be optimistic despite watching his side fall to a dramatic late defeat at the hands of Bury at Ray Hall Lane on Saturday.
Anthony Dudley and George Miller’s goals cancelled out Maziar Kouhyar’s leveller to ensure that The Shakers stole the spoils in this Football League Youth Alliance North-West Division clash.
But Woods preferred to focus on the terrific display that his youngsters put in, a performance that he believes should have yielded the victory.
“There are a lot of positives we can take from the match. You feel as if it’s a broken record that we are playing,” said Woods. “I thought we edged the match, we created more chances and probably should have won the game. I think we probably needed a little bit more self-belief to get the result today.
“I don’t think anybody scores a good goal against you, we’ve hit the bar, their keeper has made a good save from the one-on-one and we have had lots of other chances.
“But that’s where we are at the moment, we have been to Preston and Burnley, two very good sides at this level, and been the better footballing side and I think most people will agree that we have been the better side again today.
“Having good technical and tactical ability is one thing but having a strong attitude and mind-set is another and that is what we have got to improve on.
“I think you saw the difference between a team that is at the top of the league and a team that is nearly at that level today."
Despite admitting that his side need more of a clinical edge, Woods doesn’t believe that his team are far away from becoming a force in the league.
“We have had a lot of first years playing this year, they have been exposed to a lot of match time and have gained a lot of experience, a lot more than in years gone by," he added. "We are pleased with the lads coming through so we have a lot to be optimistic about heading into next season.
“I’m the most optimistic person in the world, my glass is always half full and never half empty. We have got to look to play better football next year than we have this year.”
Neil Woods’ side only have five remaining league fixtures as they look to end their campaign on a high. The youngsters travel to Merseyside to take on Tranmere Rovers on Friday (11am).
By ALEX DICKEN