Steve Beaglehole

Beaglehole Hails 'Courageous Performance'

Steve Beaglehole was proud of the players' efforts as Leicester City's Development Squad came from behind to earn a point against Chelsea Under-23s on Monday evening.
More on this story...

- Steve Beaglehole gave his reaction to LCFC TV after Leicester City's Development Squad drew 1-1 with Chelsea Under-23s
- Tyrese Shade's equaliser earned City a point at LCFC Training Ground on Monday night
- Beaglehole was pleased with how the players responded to conceding and going down to 10 men
- A second successive draw gives the Foxes something to build on for the remaining Premier League 2 fixtures, he adds

Losing both Harvey Godsmark-Ford and Terell Pennant to injury early on and trailing to a George McEacheran goal at the break, the young Foxes showed their powers of recovery to equalise in the second half.

Tyrese Shade's smart finish had City back on level terms and despite Ali Reghba's 74th-minute red card, the 10 men held on to claim a hard fought 1-1 draw against the reigning Premier League 2 champions.

"It was a courageous performance," Leicester City's Senior Professional Development Phase Coach told LCFC TV after the game. "I thought it was a real uphill battle in the first half when we lost two players early on and had to make tactical changes with players out of position.

With tired legs and players that were really struggling, as well as being one man down, that's when they really showed great game management. We sat deeper, we defended very well, I was proud of the lads.

Steve Beaglehole LCFC TV

"We had players on there that finished the game that were going to struggle to make 90 minutes, we'd earmarked them for substitutions. Oli Ewing, for example, who I thought was excellent and Tyrese [Shade], just coming back from injury.

"The youngsters, particularly Oli Ewing, in the second half, they got tight, they did their jobs and at times we dominated periods in the middle of the park against two very good players, so there's a lot of good things there and we've got to build on that. It will be great to get a few players back and then I think you will see that we start to win a few games."

Assessing the game as a whole, Beaglehole felt Leicester were deserved of the draw and in particular praised the character to bounce back from going a goal behind, as well as the defensive work to keep the scores level when Chelsea looked to make their numerical advantage count.

He explained: "I thought we started a bit shaky, they moved the ball quickly, they were very confident like any Chelsea side is, technically good on the ball. We stuck to the task and then we gave it as good as we were getting in the first half.

I thought it was even, if we went in at half-time 0-0 it would have been great. I was annoyed at the goal we gave away. At this level, you've got to manage the game better.

"We didn't track the runner for the ball into the box and then didn't track the man at the far post, players ran by us so we were disappointed with that. We went in 1-0 down and then you've seen recently, that 1-0 can very quickly become two or three if the players are not really on it.

"I think they'd lacked confidence in several games recently, but it was good in the dressing room and we were confident that we could get something. We got a goal back from Tyrese [Shade], a good finish, it's 1-1 and then the sending off puts us in a difficult position.

"With tired legs and players that were really struggling, as well as being one man down, that's when they really showed great game management. We sat deeper, we defended very well, I was proud of the lads."

Following a run of four successive defeats, collecting two points from the last two games has given the team something to build on ahead of travelling facing West Ham United on Friday 19 March (7pm kick-off GMT), Beaglehole believes.

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Chituru Odunze
Chituru Odunze

American goalkeeper Chituru Odunze made several key saves to keep the visitors at bay late in the game.

He added: "We could have done with the three points in the battle to stay in this league, but it's a good point and it's two games unbeaten.

"It would have been better to win one and lose one in terms of the points, but the lads showed a lot of guts and courage today and we can build on that now, so there were a lot of things that were positive tonight.

"The goalkeeper (Chituru Odunze) made two or three great saves. Danny Simpson, he's got better and better with each game he's played. I said to the lads, you want to milk this guy while he's in here because the information he gives to them, his attitude to play the game was terrific.

"I thought he marshalled the backline really, really well. And he was as pleased as anybody after all he's achieved in the game. It just shows the benefit that senior players can make to young players' development."

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