Development coach offers his reaction to the 3-1 defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates
After the recently rebranded development squad kicked off their new season against Arsenal, John Henry says the experience of playing such a high calibre of opposition will stand the youngsters in good stead.
Despite holding a goal advantage against ten men at the break following Adam Blakeman’s spot kick, the Gunners flew out of the traps in the second period and eventually ran out 3-1 victors.
And whilst expressing his slight disappointment in relinquishing a lead, coach Henry believes his players will quickly learn from the experience.
“It was a great experience for the lads to play at the Emirates,” he explained. “I thought our gameplan was working fine. We restricted Arsenal well in the first half and got our goal with them obviously a man down.
“For whatever reason, we kind of lost the momentum we had when we took the lead. We made one or two silly and unforced errors to give them a bit of encouragement just before half time.
“We regrouped but then Arsenal scored within a minute of the restart which was disappointing. Then, their second came from a free-kick from a challenge that we didn’t necessarily need to make and the third goal from a penalty after we had switched off at the back.
“Like I say, it’s disappointing because we were in a good position at half time, though the scoreline maybe really doesn’t reflect the game because Arsenal didn’t really create much.
“We need to learn from the game – maybe be a little bit more streetwise in future. On reflection, there are a lot of positives for us to take into the Norwich game next week.”
The development squad’s game against Norwich takes place on Monday 27 August at the County Ground, Leyland. The game kicks off at 2pm.
Admission for the game is free to season ticket holders in possession of their Teamcard. Otherwise, entrance is £4 for adults and £2 for concessions.