‘This side has shown great character’


Steve Bould was a proud man following our 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Saturday.

Our under-23s found themselves trailing on the half-hour mark, but they responded instantly to draw level through Nathan Tormey, before displaying great maturity to keep the home side at bay and secure a valuable point on the road.

We spoke to Bould after the final whistle – and this is what he said:

on the draw with Manchester City…

I think it was a really tough game for us. They are a very good side, and today was a bit like the Chelsea game, because I think they’re the best two sides in this league. We knew they would have a lot of the ball but I think we handled them quite well. They had a few chances but I think overall we created more than them and certainly more than we did against Chelsea so I was delighted with the performance but we need to win games, at the moment we’re draw specialists but I’m happy with the result especially as we went one-nil down and I thought we competed well. 

on our ability to comeback after falling behind… 

This side has great character, they’re a really good bunch of lads and I have to give them every bit of praise that I can. They train fantastically, they apply themselves well everyday and we’ve been down in quite a few games and recovered but it’s a pity now that we’re not winning enough games because I think we’ve deserved, especially in the last two games against probably the best two teams in the competition to have won games and that’s the only disappointment. 

on playing four at the back and who stood out… 

By playing four at the back it gives us more firepower up front and in midfield. I thought  that Matt Smith was outstanding today in that central area alongside Rob (Burton) and I have to give Zak Swanson a mention tonight too because I think he’s a bit of forgotten man and I actually thought he was our star player. Zac’s one of those players that plays at 7/10 every week and you know what you’re going to get from him and set by step he’s becoming a more polished player week in week out. I prefer using a back four but sometimes we revert to a back three because we’ve had a few injuries and there are very good defenders in the squad. I think whatever formation we play we have to dominate the ball and that’s part of what we’re trying to implement on these young players. 

on Tyreece John-Jules’s return to the side… 

It’s a major bonus for us to have him back, the kid can play. He’s a good footballer whether he plays at nine or 10 and he gives us options. We can play two upfront at times and him and Flo (Balogun) have to compete for that one spot upfront sometime. It’s good to have more of a competition between players so it’s major plus for us to have him back. 

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