Head of academy coaching wants Under-18s to cope with stronger opponentsIan Dawes has called on Shrewsbury Town's youth team to handle the physical side of football better following their 3-2 defeat to Oldham Athletic on Saturday.
The young Shrews led twice in the Youth Alliance (North West) fixture at Shrewsbury Sports Village but were pegged back before going down to a late penalty from the Latics.
Oldham's first two goals came from their muscular strikers, and Dawes, head of coaching, wants the Under-18s to cope better when up against strong opponents.
"Off the ball they had a physical player playing up front and he was more dominant than our players - we've got to learn to deal with that," said Dawes.
"If we had stopped him playing, like we spoke about, then we would have won the game.
"I thought it was a mixed game, on the ball at times we were okay.
"We played our way and created chances, but our decision making and quality at times wasn't good enough."
Goals from Tom King and Kaiman Anderson twice gave Town the lead in the first half on Saturday before the two teams went in level at the break.
Dawes' side came out and created numerous opportunites to find a third goal in the second half but could not take them, so he wants Town's youngsters to learn to manage games better when they do move in front.
"On the other side of things, we've had enough chances to win the last two games but we haven't taken them, and we gift goals away," said Dawes.
"The players need to learn how to manage a game of football, so that when they score a goal they take control of the game.
"As soon as we scored the first goal we dropped off, were sloppy on the ball, thought the game was done and it allowed them to get back into the game.
"They've scored a good second goal from distance, but we didn't press him quick enough."