A Frustrating Defeat, Says Barradell
- Leicester City’s Under-18s were defeated 2-1 by Fulham on Saturday
- Mirsad Ali scored City’s only goal in the U18 Premier League South fixture
- Up next for the Foxes is a home fixture against West Brom on Saturday
- Coach Adam Barradell claims they must start winning their battles
After a convincing 4-2 win at home to Norwich City at the end of January, the young Foxes went back on the road as they headed to the capital to face Fulham, in search for back to back victories.
Mirsad Ali opened the scoring for City 10 minutes in, but goals either side of the break from Delano McCoy-Splatt and Terrell Works consigned the Under-18s to their seventh defeat of the 2022/23 season.
Speaking to LCFC.com, the coach shared his comments on the game: “I've mixed thoughts on the Fulham defeat. We started well, scored early, and looked comfortable, and then we lost momentum after the first 25 minutes.
“We stopped doing the right things, and our defensive shape wasn’t as good. We weren’t progressive enough and we didn’t get the ball higher up the pitch which was disappointing.
Coach Barradell believes the Foxes must be braver if they are to climb up the table.
“We then gave away a cheap penalty, but then the second half we had a rally in the final 20 minutes where we’d seen everything we were producing well at the start of the game.
“We did some good things, but we’ve got to manage the key moments and momentum within the game. Obviously, Fulham are a good side, doing well in the league, but we were competitive, and the game could’ve gone either way.”
Deep in the second half, the Foxes were level, but saw an equaliser ruled out, and Barradell was left disappointed with what could’ve been a big point on the road.
“We had a goal disallowed towards the end of the match which unfortunately shouldn’t have been chalked off,” he continued. “So the overall feeling is frustration and once again we’re looking at the game thinking what could’ve been.
“Giving away the penalty was disappointing, and we shouldn’t have given it away, but we didn’t play the defensive part of our game well enough. They looked to get in behind our back line and we need to manage that better.
“We also needed to control the midfield area within the game and start winning our battles which is something we’ll look to put right on Saturday.”
It’s important to have a team that can create attacking opportunities.Adam Barradell
Among the defeat, there were positive influences on the game from individuals, and the coach was keen to explain the importance of development in the youth squads.
He added: “Josh King, an under-16s player came on and got an opportunity late in the game and made a good impact, as did Trey Nyoni who started for us the last couple of weeks, so lots of pleasing points individually.
“It was great to see Mirsad Ali get on the scoresheet and see him involved in the Development Squad as well after his performance with us, so good improvements are being made.
“It’s important the players are starting to chip in with goals. It’s well known, looking at the league, that we haven’t scored enough goals this season, and we’re challenging our midfielders and wide players to get in those spaces to score.
“It’s important to have a team that can create attacking opportunities. We’ve done that all year, but we just haven’t been consistent enough with those chances, and that was the issue on Saturday.”
Mirsad Ali's form earned him a call-up to the Development Squad this week.
Luckily for the Foxes, they have the chance to learn from their lessons in defeat and put things right when they tackle West Bromwich Albion on Saturday (11am GMT kick-off) in league action.
“We played West Brom earlier on in the season, and in that game, we started really well, and could’ve been a couple of goals ahead, but a lack of concentration meant we conceded a sloppy goal,” Barradell explained.
“It will be a physical game, and one where we’ll have to do better with our duels and show better strength than we did at Fulham and manage the game better in those vital moments.
“So we’re looking forward to the game and it’s one that we’d like to get a positive result from, and it’s important that we get back to where we were against Norwich.”
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