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Post Stockport | David Longwell

18 October 2022

David Longwell spoke to the press after tonight's Papa John's game against Stockport County.

A youthful Town side fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Edgeley Park on Tuesday night.

The Shrewsbury squad featured 14 academy players or graduates and performed well enough to earn at least a point from the game.

David Longwell, first team coach and academy director, said it was disappointing to lose but he was pleased with his side overall.

On the game:

"The manager was in there talking to the boys at the end of the game there and he was really pleased with them because they're so young. As we've said publically in this competition we want to use it for development and for some of the first-team boys who haven't played.

"We didn't start the first half particularly well but I thought we were excellent in the second half and the boys did really well. We've had some really good opportunities, for example, Ryan's [Bowman] slipped a little bit and could've scored and Tom Bloxham smacked one against the bar but I thought it was a solid performance in the second half."

On Tom Bloxham:

"We all know Tom's got unbelievable technique and ability because he showed that last season and again tonight, I thought he did really well when taking players on. I mean a goal like that would've been incredible but unfortunately, it hit the bar."

On the performance:

"If you think about the fact we've started with seven youth team boys, you're always going to be a little bit susceptible to set pieces, they're always going to be stronger and bigger. We've done a lot of work with them and shown them our analysis but to lose a goal after 90 seconds from a set piece is frustrating - and we should've defended that better - but again that's a learning thing. After that, they've had other set plays and we've done really well with them, we just should've defended that first one a little bit better. However, when you look at the development and the positives we took from the game tonight, they outweigh that. We obviously wanted to win and I think we've done enough to get something out of the game. It's just frustrating to lose that goal so early."

On Aiden O’Brien being back in the starting eleven: 

“It was just to get as much out of him as possible. I think, unfortunately for him, it’s been stop-start for him coming in but you can see the quality he has got and it was always that we would try and run him as much as we can and get as much out of him as possible.

“It’s funny like that as he kept coming again in the game and we dropped him a little deeper to get on the ball a little bit more but we are just delighted that he played and got the minutes there that we need him to get as well as Ryan Bowman, Rob Street and Harry Burgoyne as we need to give them minutes. This is what these games are for, to get these minutes and give young players opportunities but I think for Aiden, he showed in that game how hard he worked as well as showing us a lot of quality which is positive for us moving forward.

“It’s unfortunate as he did really well to set up a couple of opportunities and on another night we would have got a goal from it but the really good thing for us is that he’s got that in him and he is a very technical player and I think he will add a lot to the team for the games going forward and I'm really delighted about that.” 

His reflection on the Papa John’s Trophy: 

“Of course we are (encouraged by the younger players getting chances) as we have publicly said in previous games in this competition that we think it’s important for the football club to give players minutes who don’t usually get them but also use it for the youngsters.  

"If you think back to the game against Wolves, they deserved something out of the game that night without a doubt as we played a full youth team plus Harry Burgoyne and I think that’s a positive, and supporters have to see that and understand what we are trying to do for the football club is to give young players opportunities and I think it’s great we have done that.” 

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