‘We made mistakes and they pounced on it’


Our under-23s played some thrilling attacking football at Meadow Park on Saturday - but individual errors cost us all three points as we lost 5-4 to Chelsea.

There was a mix-up between Zech Medley and Deyan Iliev that allowed the visitors to open their account, before going on to concede twice more just four minutes later. Bukayo Saka, Daniel Ballard and Eddie Nketiah (2) all found the back of the net, but their goals ultimately counted for nothing.

We spoke to Freddie Ljungberg after the final whistle - and this is what he said:

on losing our lead and conceding five…
We need to take more pride in winning games and not just playing good football. Fortunately I won’t try to say much, but we kind of created their goals. We made mistakes and they pounced on it, but with our goals we had to work really hard in scoring them and playing good football, so the lesson is that if you do mistakes then you’ll get punished.

on the mistakes…
In the first half we played tremendous football and I said that if we didn’t make mistakes then we’d be 3-0 up at half-time, but there were some fundamental mistakes and Chelsea are very tactical, they wait for you and they look for those mistakes. It’s a good test and that’s what we have to try and get out of our game. It’s an important part because it doesn’t matter how well you play, if you make mistakes then you’re not going to win football games.

on how Chelsea were able to trouble us…
It’s been the same in the week and today we played some good football, but we’ve not concentrated. We’ll take that in house and try to sort that out, but it’s something that the boys need to take more care of. In the first half we played really well and then they changed system in the second half to what we thought they would start the game with and then we became impatient. Then they sat in a 5-3-2 and they sit and wait for you and I was like don’t force it, and then we started to panic and hit it at them for no reason and they countered. That’s what we talked about yesterday because thats’s their gameplay and we need to be more savvy and not play to their gameplay.

on some encouraging performances in the final third…
There were some players who played really well and it was just a sad thing that all that play that some of them did was not rewarded with a win, but that’s how it is. It’s a team sport and we’re all in it together and we’ll work on it. I think as a development maybe it’s a good thing that it’s happened in these two games because you need to, at the top level, cut out those mistakes. I’ve said it to them that in top football the transition is an important part. Playing a team off the park is not easy and often the goals are scored in transitions or by mistakes.

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