Mehmet Ali expressed his satisfaction with the second-half performance in our 1-1 draw with Sevilla in the UEFA Youth League.
"I'm pleased for the lads that we managed to secure a point. It's always a tough challenge when facing Sevilla, especially when you fall behind," Mehmet said.
"We began the game positively, showcasing good control and purpose. We intended to work the ball and find ourselves in dangerous positions.
"Unfortunately, we conceded a sloppy goal, but credit to Sevilla, they were lethal in front of the net."
Despite the initial setback, Mehmet pointed out that halftime served as a valuable moment for the team to regroup and refocus on their objective.
"At halftime, we had the opportunity to calm the team down, reset their mindset, and we performed better in the second half, eventually finding the equaliser.
"It's always challenging for young players when they concede a goal, but our message at halftime was clear – stick to the basics and let the ball do the work.
"The goal was nice. It was a lovely delivery from Jimi Gower and a well-placed header by Reu Walters. It could have gone either way, with both sides having their chances.
"I'm immensely proud that our players didn't let their spirits drop. They displayed remarkable character, what we call a 'Champion mentality,' and found a way to persevere."
While this marked our first point in the UEFA Youth League, it regrettably sealed our exit, as we are now unable to progress to the knockout stages.
"We are naturally disappointed," Mehmet reflected. " We aimed to perform better in this competition, and we fell short of our expectations.
"The difference between winning and losing in these games often comes down to minor details. We need to focus on the basics and sharpen our clinical finishing in front of the goal.
"Sloppy mistakes can't be part of our game, and we must maintain 100% concentration when facing strong opposition.
"On the bright side, this experience serves as a valuable opportunity for us to identify areas where we can improve and grow as a team."