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Marshall | "These young players need to stay grounded and keep learning"

U23 manager speaks about impressive player mentality after comeback win

3 September 2019

Reading's Under-23 manager, Scott Marshall, spoke of the importance of young players' development and keeping their feet on the ground as they search for a place in the club's first team.

Several Academy graduates are gaining senior experience with the Royals this season, with a new debutant in Akin Odimayo in the Royals' Carabao Cup victory over Plymouth Argyle last week.

Marshall's U23s overcame a 1-0 deficit to beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at Madejski Stadium on Monday night, and the manager spoke of how impressed he was with the squad's mentality and progress.

On the game, Marshall said: "The goal we lost was a bit of a shock, I thought we were well in control of the game throughout the first half and, barring the goal we lost, I was confident that we'd try and get a breakthrough at some stage. But when it goes longer and longer in the game, you're thinking we need to get the goal at some stage.

"We spoke about that at half time, keeping believing in what you were doing, up the tempo a bit more in the intensity and the passing, to take advantage of some of the chances that were coming around.

"I felt we could have went on and got a few more, but in fairness to them, they chucked a few bodies forward in the last 20 minutes or so. We had to manage the game a bit towards the end, which was a good experience for the lads to do that.

"It was a good night, there were a lot of positives out there, some bits that we need to brush up on but certainly, it was pleasing to be out there, playing in the stadium and for a few guys, that was a new experience for them.

"Lots of positives around the group, so we'll keep pushing them on and working again."


With the rate of progress that the Academy has seen in recent years, and the number of graduates in and around the first team squad, Marshall emphasised the importance of the support network around our young players and how the Academy helps them through the transition into senior football.

"It's really important that they stay grounded and not get carried away with what's going on around them," he said. "There's a lot of noise around football now, and we've got to make sure that the game stays the most important thing; learning the game, improving day in, day out.

"They're young players. Even if they're playing in the first team, they're still young, still learning. They still need to grasp what it's all about and then hopefully at 25, 26 we've got a top player on our hands. That doesn't come overnight, it's hard work and you can't take your foot off the gas at any stage.

"There's plenty of people queueing up, it's a competitive world and we're looking at trying to prepare them for that, and make sure they know how to deal with that in the right way."

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