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INTERVIEW: John Dempster's Barnsley Reaction

City stroll to 4-2 win at the Alan Higgs Centre...

29 September 2020

The Sky Blues Under-18’s got their season off to a winning start last weekend, as they ran out 4-2 winners against Barnsley at the Alan Higgs Centre.

City strolled into a 3-0 lead, with goals from Sam Rodber, Joe Nightingale and Sam Pitts-Eckersall putting John Dempster’s side into a controlling position.

The Tykes did however manage to pull one back, before Harrison Nee put the game out of sight meaning another Barnsley goal late on was nothing more than a consolation.

Speaking after the final whistle, Dempster was pleased with what he saw from the 18s in their first competitive outing since March earlier this year.

“The energy levels and the commitment from the players was probably the most pleasing thing.” He said.

“Of course, when you score four goals there’s obviously been a little bit of quality as well and for the players to perform like that in what is out first game of the season, we’re delighted with that performance.

“Scoring four goals is huge and I thought we defended well too. It was sloppy to concede two goals like we did but as a team performance I thought we did well.

“For next week, we need to tighten up our defending from set plays a bit and stop conceding sloppy goals if we can.”

City’s goals in the game seemed to come at important times during the clash, as they found the back of the net early on in both halves.

Scoring when they were in control of the game ensured their hard work was rewarded and Dempster was pleased with the desire his side showed.

“Ideally, we want the players to be positive at the start of both halves and we started both halves with great energy and some of the forward passes put the Barnsley back three under pressure straight away and we stressed them all morning really.

“The attacking play was good today, there’s some things to tighten up in defence after we conceded two goals but when Barnsley did have the momentum and put us under pressure there were plenty of blocks and we defended the box well in general, but, as always in under 18s football, there’s lots to work on”.

Reflecting on what has been a difficult time for everyone around the world over the last few months, John spoke of his delight at finally getting back to some form of normality with the 18’s season getting back underway.

“Yeah I’m delighted, its where we want to be, to be out on the grass everyday training and developing players, so it’s absolutely brilliant to be back and start with a win.”

Next week the Sky Blues travel to Crewe Alexandra in their second fixture of the league season.

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