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Miguel Llera delighted after Saddlers progress in the cup

9 December 2020

Burton Albion U18s 1-3 Walsall U18s - EFL Youth Alliance Cup

Walsall Under 18s came from behind against Burton Albion to progress to the second round of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup on Friday.

The Saddlers needed to win by two clear goals to qualify from their group and came back in dramatic fashion through an own goal, trialist and Saif Mukadam's strike.

Academy Manager Miguel Llera was proud of his team for how they kept believing and felt the victory was a deserved one.

“I was pleased with the effort and the lads really deserved it,” said Llera.

“It was difficult at the beginning because we lost our goalkeeper to an injury in the first 10 minutes. I think tactically the lads understood the game pretty well, the game plan was correct and they didn’t create too many chances.

“We pressed pretty high, we were aggressive and we didn’t let them play. It was a game that didn’t have a lot of chances from both sides. It was a battle in the middle with a lot of tackles, difficult conditions and a soft pitch.

“It was a good game to watch because we had a game plan without the ball and it was working really well. We were competing with against a really good passing team and they couldn’t break us.

“The second half was pretty similar in the beginning, not too many chances. We made a couple of substitutions after. We conceded the first goal from a corner but the team kept believing and kept pushing.

“We had a bit of luck to score the first goal, it was a mistake from the goalkeeper. We changed the formation and made the team more offensive and the team started pushing harder and harder and we scored the second.

“We then got our reward at the end and got the third so I’m really pleased for the lads. The last month and a half we had three defeats in a row and the scores didn’t show what the lads did on the pitch.

"I think the last Under 23s game was a good sample for the lads. We competed well during the second half but a silly individual mistakes cost us but it was a good sample last Tuesday and then to play Burton on Friday, the confidence of the lads grew and they kept believing and pushing to the end.”

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