U21s: Iain Brunskill praises players’ adaptability

Club's youngsters' head coach offers his thoughts on his side's victory over Brentford

Having seen his young side secure their first away league win of the season against Brentford on Monday afternoon, Under-21s’ head coach Iain Brunskill praised the players’ adaptability in testing conditions.

Held at the Bees’ training ground, a difficult playing surface saw the Whites forced to take a different approach to the game – one which ultimately reaped dividends as Wanderers ran out 3-1 winners in the capital courtesy of a Jamie Thomas penalty and strikes from Enock Likoy-Elumba and Alex Samizadeh.

And speaking to the club following the final whistle, Brunskill paid tribute to his side’s hard work and determination to grind out the victory.

“I think the lads really adapted well,” he explained. “We had a chat before the game and at half time about making sure we did well in the conditions as they weren’t great.

“The surface was a bit bobbly and we like to pass the ball a bit more than we did, but we just had to adjust and as a result, we played in their half as much as we could.

“I thought the organisation was really good in the second half and as a result, we limited Brentford and I think it’s safe to say they ran out of ideas a little bit. We were well organised, we communicated well and that showed in the end result.

“We had Enock in the first half with his pace and then of course little Alex coming on who means that you’ve always got a chance of nicking one on the break, and luckily we managed to get two that way which is really pleasing.

“George Newell worked tirelessly again up top and I said to the lads after the game that I simply couldn’t fault any of them.

“It was a superb performance and although there’s always room for improvement, it’s all part of their development and that’s the most important thing.

“It’s all about grinding out results and we did that against Brentford despite the pitch not being at its best.

“We’ve had a couple of really good away performances this season which have definitely warranted more – games against Crystal Palace, Colchester United and Ipswich – and while we’ve been pretty solid at home this year, it’s always nice to get a win on your travels too.”

Brunskill also reserved special praise for recently-appointed captain Alex Finney and the defence as a whole, with him believing the performances of the back four but specifically the skipper at present will ultimately reap dividends for the youngster.

“Defensively, I thought we looked really good and the two centre-halves did extremely well. It was a real captain’s performance from Alex though – he played with a maturity which will stand him in good stead further down the line.

“He looked like a man playing against boys and he’s got some real promise. When he’s been involved with the first team, he’s not looked out of place.

“With Rob Holding being in there, you’ve got the proof that the step-up can be made and he’s had a good introduction this year, but there’s definitely a difference between them in terms of playing style.”

He continued: “Alex is a little more aggressive, quick and athletic alongside his physicality. We’ve worked with him over the course of the past few months to make him more commanding in his performances and by adding the captaincy to his game, that will only help him.”

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