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Academy

INTERVIEW: John Dempster's Crewe Reaction

The coach spoke following the 3-2 defeat...

1 February 2021

The Sky Blues Under-18s suffered defeat to Crewe Alexandra at the Alan Higgs Centre this past weekend.

City had taken the lead in the game twice, firstly through Jay McGrath and then a minute into the second half with Sam Rodber finding the back of the net.

However, Crewe pegged the Sky Blues back and eventually snatched all three points, to condemn the Sky Blues to a disappointing defeat.

Speaking after the game, Under-18s coach John Dempster said: “It was really disappointing because the players gave us a full committed performance, we were brilliant between both boxes but where we fell short today was defending set plays.

“We conceded two corners, and, in their box, we had three or four opportunities to beat the goalkeeper and we’ve either hit them directly at him or not on target at all.

“That’s where the game was lost today, in both boxes. The one thing we can’t questions the players energy, effort, and commitment to the cause today.”

Dempster sited individual errors as the reason for the lapses in concentration when defending those set-pieces throughout the game.

“It is something we look at every week, we try to take pride in set plays both for and against we practice them a day before the game but for one reason or another individual players haven’t done their roles or responsibilities in the box. It’s something we’ll look at and try and learn form to get better.”

The squad looked very different today with a few key players missing due to injuries or being in line to feature for the Under-23s.

Despite not being available for the 18s, Dempster spoke of his delight that the youngsters are being given an opportunity to make the step-up.

“We have a couple of knock and injuries which you get at this time of the season. It’s a great opportunity for the players to step in and step up.

“We’ve got lots of fixtures coming thick and fast with the U23s as well hopefully there will be some more positive performances from the individuals and the team. “

Despite the result Dempster was happy with the performance and recognised some key individuals from the game.

“Both centre-halves were very good today, defending the channel well and Jay McGrath scored which was pleasing to see.

“Alex Costa played well in the middle of the pitch, but everybody played well today and that can’t be questioned. It was nice to see Sam Rodber coming back and getting a goal.

“Overall, it was a good performance but just disappointed with the defending and attacking in the final areas, which is crucial in any football match.”


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