Under 23s assistant coach Luke Tisdale gave his reaction to a 4-3 win over Crewe Alexandra for the side, praising the mentality of both the team and individuals within it.
The Sky Blues were 4-3 winners, having gone behind in the first-half, with Charlie Wakefield, David Bremang, Max Biamou and Jack Burroughs the Coventry scorers in an entertaining game with quality goals for both sides.
“It was not a game where the defences were on top,” said Tisdale.
“It was a bit of a basketball game at times, and a bit too much end to end for our liking.
“We started the game really well, had a lot of possession in the first 15-20 minutes and it looked like we were going to be able to dictate the game. But we didn’t really kick on from that.
"Out of possession, we didn’t do enough to stop them playing through the thirds. Obviously it’s nice to get a win and to come from behind, and the win is good for the mentality of the group.”
Having dominated early on, the Sky Blues showed great resilience to come back into the contest having gone a goal down in the first-half, but Tisdale pointed out that the team need to improve their defending at set pieces.
Tisdale said: “1-0 down is difficult, it’s the first time we’ve been down this season, and then we come back and take the lead. It’s a great goal to be fair their second one to make it 2-2 - it’s an incredible strike but we should be set better from the corner.
“To then go on and show we can go 3-2 up, then 4-2 up was really, really good, but we’ve got to make sure we tighten up on the set-piece again which allows them back into the game.
“That’s probably the story for us that we kept giving them opportunities to come back into the game - we have to be better controlling the game and dominating the ball and making teams work harder to score against us.”
Charlie Wakefield brought the scores level in the first-half, the 21-year-old being on the road to full fitness following a pre-season injury.
“Charlie’s been on his recovery from injury and his minutes have been building up and up over the last few weeks,” Tisdale said.
“He was a threat, he gave their left back a hard time. He got at him all game, took his goal well, and was a constant threat for us all afternoon. We’re really pleased for him, because he’s worked hard to get to that point.”
Max Biamou is another Sky Blues man stepping up his fitness, albeit from a much longer term injury than Wakefield. Biamou, who suffered an ACL injury last September, now had 3 goals in 3 games for the Under 23s this season, and Tisdale has been impressed by the professionalism shown the French striker.
“We’ve said all along that every time Max has come with us in the 23s, he has conducted himself really well,” commented Tisdale.
“He’s been a consummate professional with us – he trains hard, works hard in the games and it’s good for the younger players to see that. He puts himself about; the way he plays in the first team is the way that he plays in the 23s which is brilliant for us and he gets his rewards. He is in the right place at the right time and gets goals, and that’s what it’s about as a centre-forward.”
Fellow striker David Bremang also found the back of the net, and the Sky Blues Under 23s coach praised the patience and attitude of the young striker, who after a prolific second half of the season for the Under 23s last campaign, has had to wait for his chance during this one.
“We’re delighted for Dave because he’s been a little bit unlucky,” Luke said.
“At the start of pre-season we had Jordan Ponticelli in the group, who we needed to get minutes to help Jordan get his loan, and then we’ve had to help Max top his fitness back up and be ready if the Manager needs him, so Dave has had to be really, really patient. To be fair to him, he has been brilliant as well. He’s not moaned, he understands the process and it was nice to be able to start him.
“He had a big chance at Burnley last week and was probably disappointed that he didn’t take it. We said all week that once David was up and running he would get goals.
“There’s a little bit of a debate if it’s an own goal but Dave is claiming it but you have to be in the right place at the right time. Dave was another one who was a threat all afternoon really - it’s hard to play against Dave Bremang when he’s at it.”
The Sky Blues’ fourth goal came from makeshift left-back for the day Jack Burroughs, a player who Tisdale has seen progress through the Club’s Academy set-up.
“Jack has had a really difficult pre-season, with concussion and things like that, and he got the all clear on Tuesday so we were able to put him in the team,” revealed Tisdale.
“Jack’s a right winger who has had to play left back for us. He’s a really versatile boy, and sometimes that works for him and sometimes that works against him, but he’s ultra-committed.
“He’s been with the Club a long time and has always, since I’ve known him at the age of 11/12, been able to strike a ball off either foot. As soon as it left his foot, you knew it was going to nestle in the bottom corner – it’s a great strike. His ball striking has always been one of his strengths all the way through the Academy, so we’re delighted for Jack as well.”
The Under 23s have no fixure next week, with the next game against Hull City on Monday 9th September at the Alan Higgs Centre (1pm), followed quickly by a game against Birmingham City.
“We’ve got no game next week, but then the week after that we’ve got two games – a Monday, then a Friday, which is the first time this season we’ve had that,” said Tisdale.
“Last year we found those tough weeks, so the mentality that we’ve shown is going to have to come into it. There’s obviously the Leasing.com trophy game next Tuesday too, so hopefully there will be one or two around it maybe.
“It’s important that we try and keep this run going, because we’ve worked hard for it.”