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Performance delights Kuhl in U21s Cup win

23 December 2014

U21s reach quarter finals

Professional Phase Coach Martin Kuhl was thrilled with the performance of his side as they moved a step closer to defending the U21 Premier League Cup with victory over Bolton last night.

An early strike from Dominic Samuel and extra-time goals from Aaron Tshibola and Jack Stacey ensured that the Royals overcame the Trotters, who included Emile Heskey in their starting XI.

The U21s have now won five of their last six matches, with the latest success booking them their place in the last eight of the competition that they won last season. 

“I’m very proud of this group of players,” Kuhl said. “To coach them, and for them to put on a performance like that against a decent, athletic team was very pleasing.

“I watched Bolton on Monday against Arsenal and they gave them a very good game and won 3-1. I knew this would be a difficult game and they’re a big, physical team and apart from a 20-minute spell in the first half I thought we dominated the game.

“We played with a lot of belief, used the ball well, worked hard as a group and once we started getting our game going we caused them a lot of problems. I said to the players that when we play against big teams we’ve got to do that and, when you can’t, then you have to role your sleeves up and have a battle.

“Our set-pieces were very good, which was one of their strong points, and in the end we dominated things and were worthy winners. We spoke about our wingers and their full-backs, and vice versa, and thought it would a key point.

“Both sets were big battles and we did very well when doubling up going forwards and backwards. We could have sewn the game up in the second half; we made a lot of chances. We’ve got a good group of lads and this is the next step for them.

“The new gaffer is in and they should be looking to impress him and make the transition into the first team.”  

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