Report: Watford Under-18s 4 Blues Under-18s 0

Paul Robinson

Blues got their league season underway with a disappointing result at Watford.

But a 4-0 defeat for the Under-18s didn't truly reflect all aspects of the performance.

Paul Robinson said there was positives to take from the PDL match, whilst identifying other areas on which to improve.

"Obviously first game of the season you want to get a good start," commented the Lead Professional Development Coach.

"Individual errors cost us the result.

"This is what it is all about, this development/learning process. How can we make these boys better players? It's about helping them as much as possible and helping them to cut these kind of mistakes out."

"There's a real good, collective group of people who want to go forward," Robinson added.

"You see it in the game and the way it went.

"For the players, obviously, time will only tell. It is a confidence thing. If they are getting used to losing week in, week out, then that can have a negative affect on the way they see it and the way they want to perform.

"It's about keeping them positive, keeping them focused. We are doing the right things boys, just cut the silly mistakes out - that's all it is."

For Robinson as well, it has been a transition from the technical area assisting the Under-23s last season to leading the Under-18s this season .

"The intensity levels are different. The players you come up against are different. Some weeks you'd have to play against first team players in the 23s. These boys are not exposed to that.

"But what I need to get into them is the players not only having a football brain and understanding the game itself and 'right, OK, what position should I be in?' but having a winning mentality as well.

"When I have been watching the games over the years the mentality of the kids is that they're just happy, happy to be there on the football pitch.

"I want them to be frustrated when they lose, but also realise it's OK to lose if you go out in the right way and you are giving your all. You have given you all but it just wasn't meant to be.

"So those pointers are important for me: to instill that winning mentality into them and to actually understand the game a bit better." 

"It is a change for them," Robinson added. "You have got your first year scholars who are coming into the programme full-time.

"It's tough for them and, with me being the manager, how I work and how I want do certain things to make them good, good players.

"It is going to take time. So patience is needed.

"But so far we have seen a lot of positives with the boys and they have come a long way since pre-season. It is only the first game.

"If we can carry on with what we are doing and how we are getting our points across to them, then we will get a lot more better results."

Blues: Clayton, Oakley, Djurovic, Chang (Miller 70), Kinina, Craig, Campbell, Hurst, Traore, Zohore, Walker (Dugmore 84). Subs not used: Rouse, Noakes, Finnegan.