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"Dion Kelly-Evans' and George Thomas' application and attitude was fantastic today." - Coventry City's Darren Murray

3 November 2014

The City coach also admitted his frustration with the pitch after Barnsley ended City's good run of form at Nuneaton Town's Liberty Way...

Coventry City Under-21s coach Darren Murray has praised the attitude and application of Under-18s players Dion Kelly-Evans and George Thomas following the 2-1 defeat to Barnsley.

The Sky Blues, who had claimed back-to-back wins against QPR and Bristol City coming into the game, suffered defeat thanks to a Nana Boakye-Yeadon first-half and a Paul Digby free-kick despite James Maddison's equaliser from the spot.

City had six Under-18s players start the game at Nuneaton Town's Liberty Way with Billy Daniels and Ivor Lawton currently sidelined through injury.

Murray admitted his frustration with the pitch after the game and his disappointment with the defeat to end City's good run of form.

Murray said: "It is frustrating. I want to see us win games but we found it really different to knock it around on what was a difficult surface. Where our players would usually take one touch, they were taking three and it was disrupting our play.

"I don't really have any complaints with our players today as they still tried to play the right way and get it down but it was always going to be difficult. 

"We were stretched today in terms of numbers as we've got a few injury problems at all levels of the playing staff at the moment so a few players had to play in different positions today.

"They've scored from a free-kick and a penalty. We've dominated large parts of the game and we had chances to win it. Disappointed with the result but it was a young team who'll learn from today."

Dion Kelly-Evans has became a Under-21s regular this season and today filled in at centre-back next to Kyle Barnett and Cian Harries.

Murray reserved praise for the Coventry-born right wing-back and also striker George Thomas who filled in at left wing-back against the Tykes.

He added: "Dion is a great kid and he is learning all the time. He has been very focused this year and he is very aggressive on the pitch which is exactly what we want to see from the young players.

"He has played centre-back today and even though he isn't the biggest, the headers he has won today were brilliant as his timing was impeccable. I thought he was excellent.

"As well as George Thomas who was playing at left wing-back. His attitude and application was first-class and these are the experiences which will help them moving forward.

"I'm disappointed we didn't get anything from the game as the efforts of the young players and the first-team players who dropped down was great and they deserved something from it."

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