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"It was a proper development game for us. Lee Burge was outstanding today, some top saves." - Coventry City's Darren Murray

20 January 2015

The City Under-21s manager also praised the response of the Under-18s players who played in the 8-2 defeat to Manchester City...

Coventry City Under-21s manager Darren Murray has praised the second-half performance against Birmingham City from a young Sky Blues side.

The Under-21s suffered a narrow defeat at Wast Hills against an experienced Birmingham City side who went ahead through Callum Reilly's first-half strike.

Shaun Miller drew City level early in the second-half with a well-taken goal but Viv Solomon-Otabor's impressive strike won the game for the home side against the run of play.

The Sky Blues had the chances late on to get a deserved point and Murray was disappointed his 'excellent' Sky Blues didn't get the result they deserved.

Murray said: "I've got to be honest, I thought we were excellent today. I think we struggled to get up to the pace of the game in the first half but responded well in the second.

"Birmingham have got a strong side and some very talented individual players which made it difficult for our young players.

"I thought we came out in the second-half and dominated the game. It's another defeat but I think that was a proper development side for Coventry City as we've got such a young group in the Under-21s and it was a challenge for them today.

"They were playing against guys who were one or two years older than them so I'm delighted with all the performances in there because you can't ask for anymore."

Seven of the 11 who started the game played in the 8-2 defeat to Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup last Wednesday.

Murray has praised the response from that game of the young players and goalkeeper Lee Burge who had several point-blank saves against the Blues.

He added: "I highlighted in the team talk before the game, that the reaction was the most important thing and I think our young players should be proud of their response.

"Manchester City were a phenomenal side but if you ask any the players, they froze on the night. I'm really pleased with them today though as they played the way I know they can play.

"Lee Burge was excellent. Every time he has come in and played the Under-21s, he's been excellent. I made him captain today and he relished with the responsibility.

"I think he led by example. I was really happy with his performance, he made about two or three great saves, and I'll definitely be reporting that back to the gaffer." 

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