David Longwell reflects on Town's Academy win over Bolton.
Shrewsbury Town ran out 3-2 winners over Bolton Wanderers Academy to the delight of Academy manager David Longwell.
The Academy manager felt his team were good value for the win but is keen to iron out mistakes despite their 3-2 victory.
On the performance:
“There were a lot of really good things out there. We had the lead of the game on three separate occasions, we started the game really well and played some good stuff first-half.
“We obviously missed the penalty first-half and gave the goal away right before half time but I thought the boys showed some really good character. They showed a lot of resilience to score late on after it went two-all and they deserved to win the game. We have to work on those silly mistakes”.
On the penalty miss and the way the team bounced back:
“I think the boys can’t let that affect them too much. These things happen in football. A lot of top players miss penalties. I believe we would have been out of sight at that point.
“They started the second-half really well off the back of that so that was really good to see. They have to learn that missed chances just means you go again and just put that behind you”.
On the change of shape in the second half:
“After we went 2-1 up, I felt they were pushing men forward and the game was getting stretched and I didn't want us to get too exposed.
“The change to 3-5-2, actually really helped us and we looked a lot more solid. The goal we gave away was more down to errors and a poor clearance than the actual shape.
“The change is good for the boy’s development also. The fact that we can be flexible during games and they coped with that really well, and in the end, we get a goal from it, which came from one wing-back to the other wing-back”.
On the development from pre-season:
“First and foremost, we have tried to improve the quality of the players and we have sign some players over the break. Then obviously Covid didn’t help us but we came back in with the boys nice and fit - we had a good pre-season and beat some really good teams.
“Our Sports Scientist did some really good work, we want to be aggressive and press high and for that, you need to be fit and the boys have put the work in, but there is still more work to be done”.
On the expectations for the season ahead:
“The most important thing is we want to get players through, we actually had players missing because they are with the first-team and they are making the bench with the first-team and that’s great to see.
“We are really working on their mentality and making them more robust so they can make that step up to playing with men, with a crowd and I think a lot of young players don’t have that mentality”.
“Every member of staff's job is to try and get players into the first-team, I have managed to do that at other clubs so it’s just really satisfying to see the development and we want them to thrive on that opportunity”.