4 min read
6th Dec 2023
Richard Walker was delighted with the way his under-18s went about Tuesday’s Premier League Cup game against Reading.
The Old Gold won their final group game encounter by three goals to nil at Compton Park thanks to goals from Dani Angel (2) and Fabian Reynolds. However, despite picking up six points from a possible nine, Wolves finished second in the group and their record wasn’t quite enough to secure progression into the knockout stages.
Head coach Walker has spoken about the control his players had in the game, the performance of Angel, the mentality to keep clean sheets and next Wednesday’s FA Youth Cup fixture at Molineux.
On winning the game
“We don’t quite get over the line and we knew it was a tall order today. We came into the game and would’ve needed to win by seven goals or more.
“It was about chasing that, hunting it down and seeing what might happen. First and foremost, we wanted the performance and aim to get the three points – I thought the lads were excellent in every area.
“A 3-0 victory was the least of what the performance deserved.”
On controlling the game
“When we had the ball, we showed real control and purpose with it. It was a good level of patience but a change of tempo once we broke lines.
“We got bodies forward and in the box well. On another day it could’ve been a lot more convincing in terms of the chances we had, the offside one and hitting the bar.
“I thought every aspect of the performance comes from the work ethic. The lads are working their socks off every day in training and I think that was evident in the way they went about their business today.”
On Dani Angel’s performance and two goals
“He’s a big number nine, you can see what he is. He’s a road runner, he chases lost causes, stretches play, uses his body well and with his height and where his body is at physically in his development, it can sometimes look a little bit untidy with the ball into his feet, but it didn’t. He used his body well.
“When the ball’s around the box he sniffs a goal out. He’s been really unlucky in every game he’s played for us so far – he should’ve been on the scoresheet in all of them.
“We felt if we gave him a start that the goals would come for those reasons.
“In 60 minutes, for him to get the two goals, hit the bar, have a goal ruled out for offside, it’s been a good days work.”
On keeping a clean sheet
“George (Hardy) has come in for his first start of the season in the under-18s and he’ll be delighted with the clean sheet.
“He didn’t have a great deal to do but when he was called upon he came out and blocked well.
“The players in front of him had that passion to keep the clean sheet and that’s important – the mentality towards clean sheets is really important for a group.”
On the FA Youth Cup next up
“It’s a great opportunity. The Youth Cup is always one that everyone looks forward to. We always look forward to the next game and the next game happens to be the FA Youth Cup.
“There’s a little bit more hype around that than normal but the boys are in a positive mood after a good win and performance on Tuesday.
“Generally, the performances have been a decent level by and large. They should go into it confidently and I just want them to execute our game plan as we do and enjoy the evening, enjoy the occasion. If they do that, I’m sure that they can have a good run in the tournament.”