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INTERVIEW: John Dempster gives his reaction to Sheffield Wednesday defeat

City suffered a 4-0 defeat to the Owls...

24 October 2023

John Dempster believes his young side will learn a lot in their careers from defeat against Sheffield Wednesday at the Alan Higgs Centre.

The 21s fielded a side which consisted of several under-16s and under-18s, with Evan Eghosa the oldest outfield player at 18.

City were in a battle with the Owls throughout the game, as they looked to fight against a side with plenty of experience.

Speaking after the final whistle, Dempster told how this challenged should be used as a learning curve for his young side.


Looking back at the game…

“A lot a lot learning took place today. It's probably the youngest Under-21s team we have ever fielded, certainly since I’ve been here over the last four years.

“It was a tough afternoon in many ways. We asked the players to fully commit, which you'd expect and show quality, but I think the quality lacked today.

“The majority of the boys put 100% effort in and that's all you can ask for. We just hope that over the next coming weeks, months, years, that the quality goes up. And you see a little bit of that in the games.”


The young average age of his side…

“We had a couple of trialist playing as well as young lads, so we knew going into the game it was going to be a real challenge.

“There was three or four 16 year-olds playing, first year scholars. I thought Joe McCallum played well and he had real good energy from start to finish.

“Charlie Finney was good particularly in the first half on the ball, switching the play really well. Aidan Dausch looks a handful and he can run in behind, but he needs to work a little bit on his hold up play. But he's got real potential.

“Individually, there were some good bits today. Some of the defending was sloppy, but they are bits that we'll try and iron out.”


Using this experience moving forward…

“Well, there were lots of physical challenges and you could see some of our more slight players were bouncing off their more experienced players in individual battles.

“They had a couple of first team players in the first half I think and they were out for minutes and you could see, as a young lad, sometimes you just bounce off them.

“So, it emphasises the importance of getting in the gym, emphasises the importance of the sport and conditioning work done and really buying into that and some of it just comes with age as well.”

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