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Dodds proud of battling youngsters

29 February 2016

Under 18s coach takes positives from narrow quarter final defeat

Reading U18s coach, David Dodds, was proud of his sides’ display despite a 2-1 defeat in the quarter final of the FA Youth Cup.

The Royals were narrowly beaten by current Youth Cup holders Chelsea in a closely contested match at Stamford Bridge.

“Chelsea pressed us very hard in the first half especially and we didn’t deal with it as well as we might have,” reflected Dodds.

“I can’t take away from the lad’s effort they put in on Friday but we have had more confident games when using the ball.”

As the Royals fell two goals behind it looked as though the tie had got away from them, but a powerful header from Axel Andresson put the Royals back in the game as the visitors rallied to try and find an equaliser.

Dodds was pleased with the character his side showed in trying to fight back into the game, an attribute he feels the team have shown consistently this season.

“The lads have got great spirit and always want to keep going, these games are brilliant they’ve given the boys great experience,” said Dodds.
 
“They have great character, they’ve shown it throughout this tournament, at home to Sheffield United and away to Fulham, as well as in the second half against Chelsea.

“In the second half we had a spell at 2-0 down where we got back into the game and rocked them a little bit. There was an opportunity there to level the scores that slid across the goal.”

Despite the result and the obvious disappointment Dodds feels there is a lot to take from the defeat against a side that have only lost one game in the Youth Cup in the last four seasons.

“They’re a good side,” admitted Dodds. “They did run the legs out of us so when you get possession it’s hard to play.
 
“We are a little bit disappointed about our lack of control of the ball during the game, but the lads will learn from that. The boys are disappointed and there were a few tears after the game.

“They’ll be a few lads in the dressing room that will get through to the first team I’m sure, which is the end goal and is a real positive to take from the game.”


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