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WOODS BOWS OUT WITH A WIN

25 October 2016

Youth team boss to take a step back after 2-0 victory...

Academy Manager, Neil Woods, paid tribute to his players after they recorded a 2-0 victory over Mansfield Town on Saturday in what was his last match in charge.

The Saddlers youth team boss doesn’t leave the club until 11th November, but has agreed to take a step back from managing the side so the club can enter a period of transition.

“As a group their attitude towards coaching and instructions is fantastic,” Woods explained. “Their application to every aspect of their programme is very impressive.

“They work extremely hard, listen to what’s being said and allow their own natural ability to develop.

“I’d envisage they’ll carry on because of the people they are and it’s their attitudes that’s the most pleasing.”

Despite the victory on Saturday, the Saddlers failed to progress to the next round of the cup as results went against them elsewhere.

Woods’ men knew they had to win by two clear goals to stand any chance of going through but it wasn’t enough as Burton won their game 4-0.

“I’m still very pleased for the players,” he added. “The pitch wasn’t conducive to playing the type of football we like to play and with respect to Mansfield who are top of their league they were very organised and made the game very compact.

“We had a lot of possession at the back but to their credit they made it difficult for us to play through them.

“We struggled to make any real inroads and at half-time, although we were pleased with the application and how we were trying to play, we made a decision to change it.

"We shuffled the system and our shape which is the easy part but one-hundred percent of the credit must go to the players for executing it.

“We controlled the game completely, played in the right areas and that hurt them in the final third. We dominated and got the two goals we needed.

“The first was good build up play ending in Lezion Cela shooting from edge of the box. Their keeper parried and O’Sullivan followed in up to get us off the mark.

“For the second, it was a through ball for Cameron Peters, who as always showed great endeavour to get on the end of it and finished very tidily.

“It was nice to finish with a win and for me to see the players continue the philosophy and style of play.

“My situation hasn’t affected the players from being thoroughly professional in how they went about the game and their mindset remained focused on the game which is really pleasing.”

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