Terry Burton reflects on Arsenal's 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion in the first game of the Under-21 Premier League elite group:

on the match…
It looked like we needed the game. The young lads haven’t played since December 6, and some of the first-team players were in to get match fitness, rather than just train. You realise how fit you have to be to be playing football. It doesn’t matter where or when it is, playing 11 against 11 does take it out of you.

on dominating possession…
We want to do that. I’d have liked us to have a few more chances and got into goalscoring situations a little bit more. In the second half, we had Akpom’s header and then he didn’t take up an opportunity to shoot when he might have done. The chances were few and far between.

Abou got on the ball and controlled the game. He can slow the tempo down or speed it up. I thought he was very good

Terry Burton

on Diaby’s return…
I thought he did well. He was arguably the pick of the senior players that came in. I thought him and Jenkinson both applied themselves really well. Diaby came into the game and started to develop his all-round game. He got on the ball and controlled the game. He can slow the tempo down or speed it up. I thought he was very good. Hopefully he’s come through the game well.

on having senior players available…
I think the ones that are not playing would rather be playing. They’ve come in to get match fitness and it was a great opportunity to give a few of them a game today. Hopefully they’ll come in, get their match fitness and then be closer to that first team if required.

on what the younger players learnt…
You always want to be playing in and around good players. I’m sure that with the likes of Abou Diaby in there, when you make runs, he’s got a chance of finding you. He’ll see the run and he’s got a chance of putting the ball into the space for you.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 10 Jan 2013