Menu

Reaction: Blues Under-23s 2 Stoke City Under-23s 0

Xavi Calm and Steve Spooner

We had periods in the game when we were very good and from the point of view of being a disciplined defensive performance, it was very, very pleasing.

Steve Spooner

Senior Professional Development Coach Steve Spooner was delighted by the defensive discipline displayed by Blues Under-23s as they comfortably kept Stoke City at bay to rack up a 2-0 pre-season win.

The hosts hardly gave the visitors a sniff of a chance, whilst taking two of the numerous opportunities created at the other end, to chalk up a satisfying victory at a damp and drizzly Trillion Trophy Training Centre.

“We were very pleased with the shape of the team. Stoke played in a diamond formation, which can cause you a problem, but we felt that we dealt with that really well, and were very disciplined,” said Spooner.

“The only criticism would be that we weren’t good enough on the ball when we won it back in the first-half – we played backwards and sideways too much.

“We had periods in the game when we were very good and from the point of view of being a disciplined defensive performance, it was very, very pleasing.

“If you keep clean sheets then it gives you a good base to build upon.”

Whilst Blues keeper Connal Trueman was barely troubled, the same cannot be said for his counterpart, Blondy Nnanoukeu, between the opposition posts.

“We created several other chances to score – the goalkeeper made two really good saves for them. We had a lot more clear-cut opportunities than Stoke.”

This was the first warm-up win for Spooner and Xavi Calm’s charges, after defeats to contrasting opponents in Solihull Moors’ first team and Manchester City’s Under-23s earlier this month.

But, as Spooner points out, pre-season isn’t necessarily about results.

“I’ve had pre-seasons where you’ve won every game, but then struggled when you’ve got into the season,” he added.

“We’re working on a new formation and there are certain disciplines that the players need to improve upon, and that’s why we have these games. Pre-season is about ironing out all the creases.

“We made a lot of substitutions in the second-half, which interrupts the flow, but the players that came on have done well. There were some young lads in there too.”

Share