Under 21s

Collins | ‘We weren’t at our best’

3 min read

James Collins couldn’t fault the spirit and effort of his side, but admitted a feeling of frustration as Wolves under-21s lost to Charlton Athletic in the Premier League Cup.

The head coach conceded that the team were far from at their best and perhaps the encounter was a step too far as the Addicks ran out 2-0 winners at Aggborough.

On the 90 minutes

“It was a tough game and probably tougher than the boys expected. Charlton came here and had a real game plan and made it hard for us to play through midfield which is what we’ve been doing well and wanted to do. They had a right go at us.

“I thought first half we weren’t at our best but knew it would be good to get in at half time and reset.

“We conceded a soft goal but I still felt at half-time that if we could get ourselves playing, get the ball wider and get some crosses in, it might cause them a problem and that might be the way to go. We didn’t do it very well.

“It felt like maybe the midweek took its toll on us a little bit at Derby. It was a tough game there under the lights. We kept going and showed spirit but it just wasn’t our day.”

On defensive mistakes

“It was a new back four together today. Kam (Kandola) and Justin (Hubner) have been doing very well together along with Aaron (Keto-Diyawa) and Harry (Birtwistle) – they’ve all been playing together for a while now and that’s looked ok.

“Suddenly Harry was injured after a minute and then we had to make a change because Justin was suspended. All of a sudden, you end up with two of the back four missing.

“They looked like they hadn’t played together so although, individually, they did ok, I thought Kam was stretching for the first header when the right-back, which was Marv (Kaleta) at that point, could talk to him and he’d have a clean header. The ball then goes to Kam’s man at the back and he scores.

“In the second half Kam made a mistake which we’ve talked to him about. He’s been excellent for a while for us, Kam, but he has got those mistakes in him that he’s got to learn to cut out of his game.”

On the feeling of frustration

“That’s probably the first game I’ve been really disappointed. Derby was a disappointing result in the week but you expect that if you’ve been in the game long enough to know you’re playing against a men’s team in League One.

“Today, was probably the first game I’ve felt frustrated watching our players play because I didn’t think we made good decisions, didn’t think we found the right solutions on the pitch which we pride ourselves on.

“I also didn’t think our quality and football was good enough. We kept going – the effort and the work I cannot fault, but it felt like a game too far for us.”

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