‘We put in a massive effort and defended well’


Despite being beaten on penalties, Steve Bould was full of praise for our under-21s in their opening Trophy fixture on Tuesday night. 

Our youngsters battled hard throughout and even took the lead with 10 men in the 78th minute - but Northampton equalised less than five minutes later, before securing an extra point with a 4-3 win on penalties. 

Here’s what our head coach had to say after the final whistle: 

on the performance over 90 minutes…
I thought they were excellent. Not necessarily with their quality, but the biggest thing that came out of tonight was that we showed an awful lot of character and we did all the tough stuff that we spoke about before the game that this level demands. I think the only disappointing thing is that we could have been better with the ball, but I don’t think I could ask for any more from them.

on our defensive maturity…
Without the ball we weren’t bad at all, it was just with the ball that was the big disappointment. To go and nearly win the game after going down to 10 men was a great effort from everybody and I’m delighted.

on dealing with the physicality and set-pieces…
I thought they were excellent. I’m not sure about the numbers but they had an awful lot of corners and I don’t really recall them troubling us from them. Maybe one, but I think overall we handled the aerial balls very well. They’re a big side and they’re experienced pros, so it’s a great learning curve for all of our kids.

on Olayinka’s goal…
We were forced backwards a little bit and we were finding it difficult to get out, even though we had a lot of the ball at the back, so it was a great goal. We had a couple of moments like that and perhaps didn’t test their keeper quite enough, but I think it’s been a really, really good experience for everybody.

on what he said in the dressing room at full time…
Exactly what I’ve just said to you! I’m extremely proud of them. I think they put in a massive effort and we defended very well, so it’s a pity that we were 1-0 up with eight minutes to go and we didn’t go on to knick a result. Penalties under pressure are another new thing for them as well, so hopefully later on in life that holds them in good stead.

See Full List

Fixtures & Results

UEFA Champions League
Ticket Info