Mehmet Ali expressed his immense pride in our under-21 side following our emphatic 5-0 triumph over Exeter City in the EFL Trophy.
The second half unveiled a remarkable goal-scoring spree, with Charles Sagoe Jr, Khayon Edwards, Jack Henry-Francis, and Seb Ferdinand all hitting the mark. This extraordinary display allowed us to convincingly beat our League One opponents.
Mehmet commended the team, stating, “We, as a group of staff, are truly proud of our team's performance today. The level of play we sustained for the entire 90 minutes was truly excellent.
“Exeter City fielded a strong lineup, with a few youngsters but they had a fair few established League One footballers. While we faced challenges at times, our defensive resilience, compactness, and organization prevented them from getting a single shot on target against our goal.”
Discussing the second-half surge of goals, Mehmet explained, “In the second half, we made some tactical adjustments, shifting towards wingers and reverting to our usual 4-3-3 formation. This tactical shift posed problems for the opposition.
“However, I believe it was more about our relentless desire to win in the second half and to capitalize on our opportunities. We displayed ruthless efficiency in front of goal, converting five goals from just six attempts which I'm immensely pleased with.”
With a crowd of over 3,000 at St James Park, Mehmet was particularly impressed by how our team handled the atmospheric challenges of playing away. He expressed his gratitude to the small but vocal contingent of Arsenal fans who made the trip.
Mehmet praised the fans, saying, “The atmosphere was quite different from what we typically experience in Premier League 2, and we faced resistance from the home crowd as the away team."
He went on to say, “I want to give a big shout-out to our supporters who made the trip tonight. They were absolutely brilliant, providing unwavering encouragement of support throughout the game."
He noted the impact of the fans on the players, saying, “Their energy resonated with the players and provided a significant boost. It's the reason we gave them a huge round of applause at the end of the match."
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