Walsall Academy manager Miguel Llera has urged his team to start games on the front foot after last weeks draw at Carlisle United.
The Under 18s fell behind in the first half but Saif Mukadam levelled things up in the second half as the Saddlers earned a point last Friday.
Llera was frustrated to after his side’s poor start but praised them for their fighting spirit.
“I can’t fault the lads for their fight to get back into the games but that’s a plan B. Plan A is to start properly and start winning games,” he said.
“We’ve been conceding very sloppy goals at the beginning of the games.
“It’s something that has worried me a bit in the last three games because we’ve been conceding really sloppy goals in the first 15 or 20 minutes.
“It’s tough to change the situation but we got a draw against Carlisle United and credit to the lads in the second half because they pushed a lot.
“If we want to fight for the top two, we need to start better at the beginning of games and have better composure in possession.
“We have to be excellent, just being good is not good enough. We threw away the first 45 minutes and gave Carlisle belief that they could get something from the game.
The season has reached the halfway point and it’s been a positive one for the Under 18s and Llera feels the young Saddlers are heading in the right direction in what’s been a productive first six months for the Spaniard.
“We are on a good track,” he commented.
“It’s been a tough month as a lot of players have had flu symptoms or knocks.
“The squad has been filled with U16s and U15s but I’ve been happy with the last six months.
“There are three players who have trained with the first team over recently so that’s a positive for them.
“The upcoming Christmas break will give them time to recover from illness or injury and come back fit and ready to go again.”