The Sky Blues Under-18s fought out for a 1-0 win away to Crewe Alexandra to keep them at the top of the league.
City’s under-18s started the New Year the way they finished 2021, picking up all three points to remain at the top of the table.
Sky Blues Professional Development Phase Coach, Chay Thompson, praised his side for the victory against Crewe Alexandra in difficult circumstances.
“It was good to grind out a win, it was real tough conditions, wet, windy, the pitch was like a mud bath and it was all about finding a way to win a football game in those sort of conditions, which we did deserve to win.
“We created a lot of chances in the first half, which we didn’t take, but in the second half we kept on going, we kept finding a way and we ground out a goal which we deserved and we ended up winning the game 1-0.
“We said to the players it was important to start the year the way we finished it, that’s five wins out of the past six, which is good, obviously it’s not always about winning games of football, you want to see the players develop and progress, that’s the aim, but it was nice from a development point of view to overcome a different type of challenge against Crewe who play some nice football.
“We didn’t say much at half time, it was a five minute turn-around, but keep doing what you’re doing, keep believing the goal would come because we were creating a lot of chances and we weren’t conceding chances as well, so that was pleasing, a clean sheet in the end and we deserved to win, so we’re looking forward to the next league game against Wigan.”
City’s youngsters are enjoying a strong campaign, unbeaten in all their league games bar one, a defeat to Wigan Athletic.
Thompson previewed the the Latics rematch, acknowledging the toughness of the upcoming test.
“We’ve lost one in the 13 league games and that was against Wigan, so it’ll be a good test for the lads.
“Last time we played against them we did enough to win the game, it was just individual errors which cost us, we were 2-0 up cruising, didn’t get a third goal and conceded two poor goals and also missed a penalty, so there were a lot of moments in the game that we ended up losing.
“We believe what we’re doing is the right thing, we’re playing some good football, the philosophy and we’re trying to do on a day-to-day basis is only improving the players so we keep doing what we’re doing and keep being better at it.”
To add to the delight of the win, the Sky Blues welcomed Reece Massey back from a lengthy injury spell and Thompson sang the praises of the academy midfielder.
“I want to give a special mention out to Reece Massey, who’s had a real tough 18 months in the scholarship programme.
“He made his first start in quite a while against Crewe, so he came through 45 minutes and played really well and not only did he get through the game, he was also one of our best performers, so that was really pleasing for him.”
Sitting at the top of the Under-18 Professional Development League, the Sky Blues will be looking to continue their fine form and Thompson revealed the team’s targets for the remainder of the season.
“[The players] have their own individual goals, which we as coaches want to stick to, which is important, but as a team goal was to finish as high up the table as we can and we’re still top of the league, which is good for the players, but there is still lots to work on and we want to progress in the league and do as well as we can in the cup as well.”