Under 21s

Collins | ‘I didn’t think there was a lot in the game’

3 min read

James Collins felt too many individual performances was the downfall as Wolves under-21s lost in the Premier League 2 play-offs at Sunderland.

Despite taking the lead in the first half through Nathan Fraser, the Black Cats ran out 4-1 winners and Collins believes the opposition performed more as a team on their way to victory. Speaking after the game, the head coach praised his side for a strong 60 minutes or so before expressing his disappointment at how the final stages got away from the group.

On the game

“I thought the game was a really high-standard game. Probably for an hour, it was one of the best games we’ve had as a contest.

“There were two teams playing to a really high standard. The equaliser I thought we were a little bit unlucky with and that probably shook us a little bit and gave them a lift.

“At 2-1 it was still in the balance. We had a couple of moments where we got up and could’ve made better decisions.

“They broke away and got the third, and then it’s a mess after that. We’re still in the game at 3-1 with 10 minutes to go.

“We really wobbled then and found it difficult. They lifted and they’re flying. It became a messy end and it made it look really poor when, really, for 65/70 minutes it was really good.”

On lessons to learn

“We’ve got to learn that they looked more of a team than us. We’ve got some really good individuals who are trying to progress themselves, improve and be ambitious.

“To have success at football, you’ve got to buy into the collective and team. I thought they did that a little bit better than us when the game was tight and messy at 1-1, 2-1.

“I didn’t think they had better individuals and I didn’t think there was a lot in the game. I certainly didn’t think it was a 4-1 game, but it doesn’t surprise me that the team who played for the team came out on top.

“We were a team who did it for 60 minutes but then went a little bit individual after that.”

On whether they can be pleased with the season

“I think we have to be. We’re obviously disappointed with today because we would’ve had West Ham at Molineux and we would’ve been looking forward to that.

“But, we finished in the top 10 of the league with 26 teams, made ourselves qualify for the International Cup next season which is really important.

“It’s difficult for all under-21 groups because you have a different team every week, sometimes you’re not working with them every day – you get different numbers every day due to them supporting the first-team.

“It’s hard to judge the group but to finish in the top 10, qualify for the International Cup second round and qualify for next season’s International Cup has to be seen as a successful season.

“It’s disappointing today because I really enjoyed the game. I thought it was a really competitive high-standard game but then the last 20 minutes it becomes a farce and a mess.

“That leaves a sour taste but if we look at it with realism and properly, I think we’ll see there were some really good performances for an hour.

“You don’t win football matches in an hour. You have to play 95 minutes.”

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