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Dawes: Youth must improve

10 August 2014

Head of coaching hopes Under-18s learn from set-piece defending after Wrexham draw

Ian Dawes insists Shrewsbury Town's youth team have plenty to work on following the 2-2 draw at Wrexham on Saturday.

The young Shrews twice had to come from behind in the second half, with goals from defender Jeff Watkins and substitute Tom King ensuring they snatched a point.

However, Town struggled to deal with Wrexham's set-pieces throughout the match and conceded their first goal from a corner. 

And Dawes, head of coaching, highlighted the need to use the experience of playing against a direct side as a learning curve.

"We came up against a side that were a little more direct and physical, and strong mentally, and we didn't handle it," said Dawes.

"They were excellent on set-pieces and we didn't deal with it. It's a massive part of the lads' development.

"As a development day, the players need to learn how to play against a direct side that are going to get around us and flick things on."

Neither side could break the deadlock in the first half at Colliers Park Training Ground, and despite two goals which he was proud of, Dawes felt Town never performed to the standard he expects.

"We didn't have enough quality in the game from start to finish," said Dawes.

"The things we work on during the week, our quality of passing, receiving and our moving patterns didn't come out in the game.

"The only times that they did come out was for the two goals we scored.

"The two goals are through our concepts and philosophies. We've played the ball out, played to our moving patters, got into good areas and finished.

"We were fortunate to go in at half-time without conceding, but if we were a bit more clever in front of goal we could have scored one or two ourselves."

Shrews' head of youth coaching was happy to take the point in the end, though, and will take his side to Walsall for their third league fixture of the Youth Alliance (North West) season next Saturday (August 16, 11am kick-off).

"We take a point and we're happy we got a draw, that's a positive, but we'll work again during the week to rectify the negatives," said Dawes.

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