- Leicester City’s Under-23s fell to a late 2-1 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday
- Kasey McAteer had levelled the scores late on but an injury-time winner denied City a point
- Coach Ben Petty believes the team deserved more following a dominant second half
- The young side are improving with every game they play in Premier League 2, he adds
After falling behind to Jeremy Sarmiento’s first-half finish, the Foxes came out fighting in the second period of the Premier League 2 Division 1 encounter, eventually equalising with five minutes to play.
However, it would not be enough to take a draw from AMEX Elite Football Performance Centre, as a 94th-minute winner from Andrew Moran snatched all three points for the Seagulls.
Speaking in his post-match interview, Petty revealed he was proud of how the players performed, despite the end result, backing up an impressive display against Everton earlier in the week.
He told LCFC TV: “It was very tough to take but I’ve had a few minutes to reflect on it now and the level of performance was fantastic. Looking at the two performances this week against Everton and tonight and I don’t think I can ask for much more from the players.
McAteer Strikes In Narrow Seagulls Defeat
Kasey McAteer was on the scoresheet as Leicester City's Development Squad fell to a late 2-1 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion Under-23s on Friday.
“They are really embracing the philosophy and they are working so hard. To have 26 shots away from home against a team that is top of the league, I think it shows that we’re making progress.
“I thought it was a super game tonight. Brighton shaded the first 30 minutes, we were a little bit loose with our play, but the last 15 minutes of the first half, we grew into it and no one could deny that we were the better team in the second half.
“That’s what I asked for at half-time, more pace and power and physicality and that’s what they need. The tempo and the intensity that we played at was really impressive.
“I thought we’d got away with a point which we deserved, but sometimes that’s football... a set play at the end and they sneak one in. You have to defend it.”
The team spirit is really encouraging in there. They need to stick together, they need to keep believing in what we’re trying to do. If we keep playing like that, we’ll get the results.Ben Petty LCFC TV
Substitute Will Russ made an immediate impact after coming off the bench and provided the pass that led to City’s equaliser. Petty praised the forward and the contribution of goalscorer Kasey McAteer.
“Will [Russ] was terrific when he came on,” he continued. “He’s trained really well. He’s been injured for a little while but he’s been back for two weeks. Missing Jake Wakeling tonight, I thought Tawanda [Maswanhise] was brilliant up front for us.
“But Will gave us that physical power and that little bit of energy that we needed, the strength, and the other lads played off him really well. He’s caused me a headache now and that’s really good.
“Kasey [McAteer] has been excellent for the last few games. He’s played in a position that is foreign to him, as a wing-back and then as a full-back, and you could see how high he was up the pitch. He deserved his goal.”
Petty: The Lads Did Themselves Proud
Leicester City's Development Squad coach Ben Petty reflects on the 2-1 loss at Brighton & Hove Albion Under-23s on Friday.
Petty also urged the players not to be too disheartened by Friday night’s result, ahead of another league fixture against Leeds United at King Power Stadium on Friday 1 October (7pm BST kick-off).
The coach added: “They’ve got to keep believing in themselves. They are doing the right things, they are training really well, their performances are getting better, they’re improving.
“The team spirit is really encouraging in there. They need to stick together, they need to keep believing in what we’re trying to do. If we keep playing like that, we’ll get the results.
“That’s the great advantage of being in the top league of the PL2. That’s something that we’ll strive to do, stay in this league and play against the best. Our young players showed tonight that they are a match of anyone.
“Overall, it's a really, really good performance. We're disappointed with the result, but not disappointed by the level we showed tonight.”
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