Youth Team Boss priases early showing in Tranmere stalemate...YOUTH Team Boss, Neil Woods says his sides first half performance in a 0-0 draw with Tranmere Rovers was as well as they’ve played so far this season.
The young Saddlers couldn’t break the deadlock in the opening exchanges despite being heavily on top and forcing the visitors into a tactical reshuffle.
Rovers grew into the game and came close to opening the scoring themselves in the second period but Woods was reluctant to be too critical towards his players.
“The first 30 minutes of the game is as well as we have played with and without the ball this season," explained Woods.“We moved it so well and created numerous good opportunities early on in the game.
"I think we pressed well and looked on the front foot for that period.
“Again, the only negative is that we didn’t capitalise on our dominance in the game.
“Credit to Tranmere, they changed what they were doing and made it harder for us to dominate. We didn’t have as much controlled possession resulting in them having a few chances.
“They hit the post and on the balance of play in the second half, 0-0 was probably the right score line.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t manage to turn possession and chances into goals. But overall very pleased with attitudes and work rate of the boys.
“We’re improving as individuals and as a team with every game. The chances and type of football we are playing is creative, it’s clever and inventive and has a variety to it in the final third so I don’t think you can get too down at missing chances.
“If we keep sticking to what we believe and how we want to play, sooner or later someone is going to be at the end of a heavy scoreline
“Tranmere were organised and had a good threat upfront which causes us problems. But it was one which we need to come up against.
“Credit to their staff for changing their system because as it was developing if they hadn’t done, it was a matter of time before we scored. It was a good proper game of football, one we are disappointed not to have won but we take a lot of positives from.”
The Saddlers travel to near neighbours Shrewsbury Town on Saturday for the first cup fixture of the new campaign.
Wood’s explains the changes to the competition and how his side will have to be aware of what’s going on elsewhere.
“There’s a group stage to the cup competition this year so 4 teams in group; Shrewsbury, Burton, Mansfield and ourselves so a slightly different format.
“For us, we just approach every game trying to be better than we were in the last. We of course have to be aware of what’s happening in other games when go into second and third round of fixtures because of the circumstances of the group.
“It’s about kids experiencing how to deal with those circumstances.
“Hopefully we’ll be heading into last game already in the quarter-finals but the competition brings a more professional approach which our players will have to deal with.”