Youth team boss praises the battling qualities of his players...YOUTH team boss, Neil Woods was delighted with the way his players competed with a powerful Tranmere outfit to record a well earned 2-1 victory on Saturday.
Goals from Brendan Pooni and Jordon Sangha, either side of a Tranmere strike, secured all three points to keep the pressure on the division’s front runners.
Wood’s men have developed a reputation for playing an attractive style of football but it was the ugly side of the game which left the Academy Manager beaming on the journey back to the West Midlands.
“They were a really big and powerful side,” said Woods. “So we had to make sure we competed first of all”
"They’re a side who are a few places below us in the league and play with three really athletic lads upfront. From that point of view, it was two contrasting styles and another education for our boys on how to stand up to a different sort of challenge.
"We started the game very well and went 1-0 up with a smart finish by Brendan [Pooni]. That said, It was a half where every time they went forward they caused us problems as well.
"We’re disappointed with their equaliser because it came from a set piece and we spoke before the game about what they would try and do. We’ve tried to change the shape a little after the goal and in fairness to go in level at half time was a fair result.
"I think it was important to get the message across to our players at half time that we had to put our stamp on the game, compete a bit better and stick to our principles.
"Second half we come out and completely control the game. We did what we set out to do and score after a brilliant piece of skill by Tobias [Hayles-Docherty] who crossed in for Jordon [Sangha] to head in.
"From then on, against a team very dangerous, our keeper didn’t have shot to save so it shows the organisation, work rate and competitiveness of the lads.
"We knew Tranmere would play if we gave them time. They try to get in behind you but we dealt with first and second balls extremely well.
"We did the ugly side of the game better than we have for a long time.
"We know they can play but we needed the players to do the other side of the game and I thought they did that tremendously well.
"The outcome of the league isn’t in our hands really. The other two (Wigan and Bury) are in control but we play them both in our lads two games of the season so we may still have a say in the outcome.
"All we can do is keep winning. We have four games to play so let’s see what will happen after that."