Report: Blues Under-18s 1 Wigan Athletic Under-18s 3

It was a really good performance, we just didn’t get an end result.

Martyn Olorenshaw

Blues Under-18s fell to defeat against Wigan Athletic in the Professional Development League North on Saturday.

The league leaders struck twice inside the opening ten minutes at the Trillion Trophy Training Centre, with Chris Sze and Tom Costello finding the net.

Undeterred by the early concessions, Blues fought back and halved the arrears after 30 minutes through Kieran Wakefield, before seeing further chances to drew level ahead of the break go to waste.

Blues’ pressure continued into the second-half and only a series of fine saves from the Wigan goalkeeper prevented the hosts from equalising.

But this determination to score a second saw Wigan counter and hit goal number three when Sean McGurk struck late on to seal victory for the away team.

After the game, spoke with Under-18s Assistant Coach, Martyn Olorenshaw who gave his thoughts on events at Wast Hills.

He said: “We have got to keep getting better at what we are doing and try to cut out some of the mistakes that have cost us in recent weeks. 90% of the performance was really good and had a clear identity. We just need to find more of a cutting edge.”

Olorenshaw continued in his assessment and outlined the key area for improvement between now and the end of the 2020/21 campaign.

He explained: “We need to be better in both boxes, that’s what we will challenge the kids on. Unfortunately, this week we weren’t. In terms of clear-cut chances and how we played it was a really good performance, we just didn’t get an end result from it which was a shame.

"It is getting back to being more clinical. This has only happened over two weeks, it is definitely something we will continue to work on. With the boys finishing, we’ll keep putting them under pressure. It is not a major concern as we have been scoring a lot of goals. If we get back to what we’ve been doing, we’ll be fine."

Blues return to league action on Saturday 17 April with a trip to Colchester and the Assistant Coach is already looking forward to the next test.

Olorenshaw said: “It is going to be a long trip, so it is a good challenge for the players in terms of returning right and being able to perform straight away. It is a good mental challenge against quite a good team. They have a quick front three so that will test us, but I am confident that if we get hold of the game we can cause them plenty of problems as well.”

Blues: Brooks, Sullivan, Oakley, Craig, Barratt (Noakes 80), Dugmore, James, Walker (Hall 60), Bellingham, Williams, Wakefield.

Unused substitutes: Fogarty, Nguepissi, Manton.