Menu

Richard Beale on Blues Under-23s performance

Richard Beale
Richard Beale

We have just got to try and find ways of beating a deep block and putting the ball in the back of the net.
We got behind them numerous times and maybe we didn’t get the ball in earlier enough, make clever runs to get on the end of things.

Richard Beale

Blues Under-23s lost ground on PDL leaders Leeds United after defeat at Burnley Under-23s on Monday.

The 2-1 reverse, combined with the Whites 1-0 victory over Sheffield United, saw a six-point gap open up.

But Blues have the ideal chance to cut the deficit on Saturday when they take on Leeds at Sollihull Moors (12 noon).

Reflecting on the game at Burnley – who had a man sent-off in the 51st minute – Beale was left to rue a slow start by his side.

Burnley went ahead after nine minute and added another, via a controversial penalty – Corey O’Keeffe was felt to have grappled an opponent at a corner – and thereafter the visitors laid siege to the home goal.

“It was a good performance overall. The lads gave everything they had and we dominated the game overall.

“The first goal, from our own throw-in – a counter attack we got done on – was a bit of naivety on our part.

“The second one, it’s something whereby you could probably give 10 fouls like that per match. We have seen it back and it’s not really a penalty.

“For the rest of the game, really, we had them on the back foot and we just needed a bit more quality at times to put the ball in the back of the net.

“We got the one goal and made a good game of it. Overall, pleased with the performance and the effort from the lads.”

Blues reduced the deficit in the 68th minute, via an own goal by Jordan Cropper. It came from one of a string of crosses Blues got into the box.

But Burnley, one of the more durable and dogged PDL sides, managed to dig in and repel Blues.

Beale commented: “We said before the game that they’re a good, honest bunch of lads who work hard.

“We are the same so we felt it would be a good match up.

“You couldn’t fault the work rate and attitude of both teams, the fight and determination.

“They got the two goals, we only got one, and we have just got to try and find ways of beating a deep block and putting the ball in the back of the net.

“We got behind them numerous times and maybe we didn’t get the ball in earlier enough, make clever runs to get on the end of things.

“We had a couple of headers that went straight at the goalkeeper, had they gone the other way either side it might have been different.

“Yes, one of those days. But I’m happy with the levels from the lads.”

Odin Bailey made his return, on the left flank, and looked sprightly. He has been on loan at Gloucester City. And O’Keeffe, who was loaned to Solihull Moors, has also been in the swing of things again, playing at right-back.

Senior Professional Development Coach Beale said: “Hopefully they have learned a lot from those spells out of the Club. A winning mentality, in terms of the competitive side of the game.

“Both were sent out because of those reasons and both have come back, trained well and looked more complete players for the experience.

“We want to encourage more of our lads to do that because in the 23s you can’t quite replicate what you’ll get in these loans.

“Happy with both spells they were out for. The feed back to us what they got out of it was good, they have had positive experiences.”

It’s a big couple of weeks for the Under-23s.

After the top-of-the-table clash against Leeds, Blues host Reading in the Premier League Cup, with the chance of qualification from the group stage in their hands. That game is at Solihull Moors on Friday, 8 February (2pm).

And then Blues Under-23s are at the St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium to face Crewe Alexandra on Saturday, 16 February (11am) – the first team have no fixture that day as the EFL match at Bristol City is off due to their FA Cup commitments.

 

Share