Nicky Eaden on the disappointing result for the U23s and the progression of City's younger players...
Nicky Eaden resumed responsibilities in the Under-23s dugout, as the Sky Blues suffered defeat in the Development League South against Millwall.
George Thomas got on the scoresheet, but a double from Lions striker Alfie Pavey meant City come away from London empty handed.
Eaden admitted his side struggled to play their natural game on a challenging pitch and had to alter their game plan after a difficult first 45. He said: “It was a real stop-start kind of game, with a lot of fouls on a very poor playing surface.
“I told them at half time they might need to go a little more direct because it was proving hard to play short. We knew Millwall would be a physical team so we wanted to get the game stretched out.
“We didn’t do that well enough in the first half so we had to switch. We tried to keep the ball better through better movement and tempo, and for a 20 minute spell we did well.”
With many of the Under-23s now featuring for the first-team, it was a chance for some of the Under-18s to make the step up, as starts were handed to both Tom Bayliss and Jordon Thompson.
Eaden admitted it is important to test the young players at each level to aid their progression. “You’ve got the likes of Ben Stevenson who has cemented his place, and Dion Kelly-Evans who featured at the weekend both stepping up from the U23s set-up.
“That is what it is about at the club, it is important we continue the tradition of progressing players through the age groups. We’ve got a bigger U23s squad this season so it is harder to get a chance with the other teams.”
He added: “It’s good to get them moved up as early as possible to see what they’re made of. The only way they’ll improve is by challenging themselves in situations like today.”