Adam Barradell

Barradell: Mixed Emotions After Villa Draw

Adam Barradell felt it was a real game of two halves as Leicester City’s Under-18s drew 3-3 with Aston Villa at LCFC Training Ground.
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- Leicester City’s Under-18s were held to a 3-3 draw by Aston Villa on Saturday
- Yassine Toure, Liam McAlinney and Mirsad Ali all scored before a Villa fight-back
- Coach Adam Barradell assessed the team’s performance at LCFC Training Ground
- He also looked ahead to visiting Arsenal in U18 Premier League South this Saturday

The young Foxes started Saturday’s U18 Premier League South encounter on the front foot and were two to the good within half an hour, following goals from Yassine Toure and Liam McAlinney.

Once Mirsad Ali added a third soon after the restart in Seagrave, the points looked to be staying in Leicestershire, until a fight-back from the Villans led to the visitors taking a share of the spoils.

“It was mixed emotions for the group and staff really,” the coach admitted following full-time. “We knew the game against Villa was going to be tough off the back of them winning 7-1 (against West Brom). We found ourselves 3-0 up and we played some excellent football.

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Mirsad Ali
Mirsad Ali

Full-back Mirsad Ali has made appearances for both the Under-21s and Under-18s this term.

“It was a really good style of play with and without the ball. I was really pleased. To draw the game was disappointing, but there was lots of learning for the players and us as staff. We’ve got to manage the momentum better.

“We conceded the first goal, which an excellent strike from outside the box, and from that moment we never really managed the moments well enough. But we’re a young group and we had another Under-16 making his Under-18s debut, which is really pleasing.”

Sitting eighth in the league standings, with six points from the opening five matches, the Foxes youngsters have tasted defeat just once so far this term. But it’s the individual development which remains the most satisfying aspect for Barradell.

The 37-year-old explained: “Mirsad [Ali] got a goal and an assist and the night before he came on for the Under-21s. He’s been heavily involved with the Development Squad since pre-season. There’s a great pathway at the Club, the boys are moving through the age groups well and we’re seeing different boys coming into the Under-21s all the time.

We’re seeing some real positives with individuals but also a really competitive group. We’re certainly in a good place at the moment and looking to continue that on.

Adam Barradell

“With that, you are going to get a mix of performances and results. There’s been a couple of times in games where we’ve conceded late on or took the lead and conceded. There’s things we’ve got to look at.

“We’ve given up results when we should have won, but that’s development football. We’re seeing some real positives with individuals but also a really competitive group. We’re certainly in a good place at the moment and looking to continue that on.”

A trip to Arsenal is next up for City’s youngsters, with Saturday morning’s 11:30am kick-off in Shenley a final chance to put points on the board in Premier League U18 South ahead of the latest international break.

“Arsenal is always a tough fixture,” he added. “They are a creative, attacking team. We’ll focus on ourselves and the development of our boys. We embrace the challenges that come before us.

“Arsenal will be another testing fixture where we can really challenge ourselves as individuals - we’re really looking forward to the game on Saturday. We’ve got a break after that, so we want to go into it with a good, strong performance.”




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