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Development Squad

Ben King: Positives to take from Development game despite defeat

20 January 2022

Following Tuesday’s Development side game against Rotherham United, we caught up with Professional Development Phase Coach Ben King to discuss what the side could take out of the game despite the 3-0 defeat.

A goal either side of the break from Jerome Greaves and a second half penalty from Jacob Gratton were enough to hand the Millers victory at Ray Hall Lane but King believes there were a lot of positives to take out of the game.

“There were a lot of positives to take from Tuesday despite the defeat,” King commented. 

“I looked at the way we played, we were comfortable playing out from the back especially in the first half. 

“We were happy to play under pressure and play through the thirds which then allowed us to create chances, which we did, and it also allowed us to progress down the pitch whereas they were a lot more direct. 

“I think what is really interesting and what is really nice for us is that even though we had some of the pros with us, we were still a very young squad and considering one of their centre halves has played nearly 260 games at Championship and League One level, we were able to in large parts deal with that pressure and be comfortable playing to our game plan and strategy. 

“Unfortunately the goals that we conceded were a little bit sloppy but again that is probably young players dealing with that sort of environment and dealing with set pieces.”

The game against Rotherham saw members of the first team get some valuable minutes like Alfie Bates and Sam Perry and King was pleased to be able to integrate them into the side as it enabled some of the younger players in the group, like Josh Simcox and Rio Sawyers, to learn off them and it means that the link between the first team and the academy is now beginning to show even more. 

“It’s good that we have a pattern of play that is relayed to us from the first team,” King continued. 

“When we have played, we have had first team staff there to watch us play and having the pros involved, there is a link between the two which is good for the lads to understand how we are looking to play moving forward.” 

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