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U18S: McLoughlin Left To Rue Costly Errors After Rovers Draw

9 January 2017

Town U18s Manager Alan McLoughlin was left with mixed feelings after seeing his side held to a 3-3 draw by Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

The young Reds dominated proceedings in the first-half but were unable to take a lead in at the break with two errors cancelling out a Jordan Simpson double.

Jordan Edwards was introduced in the second-half and made an immediate impact to put his side in the lead, but another lapse of concentration at the back ensured that Town had to make do with a share of the spoils.

And, while being happy with his team’s overall performance, McLoughlin was left to rue three costly mistakes.

“The performance was decent overall in terms of how we played and our possession was very, very good in the first-half even though it was 2-2 at half-time,” he told

“We gave away two silly goals and a lack of communication was at fault for the first goal with two players colliding with each other.

“It was their first attack inside the opening twenty minutes and we then gifted them a second goal with a silly pass from the back into midfield which was cut out and we were punished.

“We did come back into the game and we completely dominated the first-half in a diamond formation.

“I was delighted with how we got back into the game and we could have been 5-2 up at half-time, but we took the lead in the second-half thanks to a Jordan Edwards goal.

“He should have scored just prior to that and probably the goal he scored was more difficult than the one he missed but he did recover to make it 3-2.

“However, we were guilty of ball watching from a corner and despite a good save from Dan Lawrence, he could only push the ball to one of their players who slotted home the equaliser.

“Jordan Simpson got our first two goals and could have had a hat-trick at half-time but he got himself in good, advanced positions and it is just unfortunate that we didn’t get all three points.

“Overall, our performance wasn’t as good in the second-half but we played well in the first and we were just disappointed with the nature of the poor goals we gave away.”

McLoughlin now wants to see his players work and improve on their communication skills going forward.

“The players are going to have to understand that communication should be the simplest form of the game and they have to get used to it,” he added.

“They know each other and that is the annoying thing, it is not as if though they have been thrown together and don’t know each other.

“I find that the players are a little bit too nice nowadays, they don’t like shouting at each other and they don’t want to have a real pop at each other.

“That side of the game is lacking but if people don’t want to physically do it and try it then it is difficult.

“I’m not used to players being as quiet as they are and particularly my defenders - they need to be vocal.

“They need to organise and they need to demand things from the players in-front of them, it is part and parcel of the game and it is not FIFA or silent football.

“You need to go and impose yourself on the game and that lack of communication was the only reason why we didn’t win the game on Saturday.

“However, the run is okay and we’ve only lost two games in the last eleven so I’ve been pleased with the progress that they’ve made and if the boys communicate better then they will win more games than they lose or draw.” 

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