- Leicester City’s Under-18s suffered a narrow league defeat at Arsenal
- Coach Adam Barradell assessed Saturday’s performance
- The young Foxes are ninth in U18 Premier League South
- Attention turns to the U18 Premier League Cup next week
The young Foxes were defeated 2-1 by Arsenal Under-18s on Saturday, despite leading for the majority of the second half. Kaleb Dyke’s opener at Arsenal Training Centre was cancelled out by Michal Rosiak’s free-kick, before Omari Benjamin completed the Gunners’ late turnaround.
Benjamin then received a second yellow card, but City were unable to find a way through in stoppage-time and left the capital empty handed. Leicester now sit ninth in U18 Premier League South ahead of the upcoming international break.
“Overall, it’s disappointing to lose it in the way we did in the last 10-15 minutes,” Barradell commented. “There’s lots of learning in the game in terms of managing 11 versus 10, managing the game, sustaining the ball in the opponent’s half and being better at counter pressing.
Tommy Neale was a standout performer in the defeat at Arsenal.
“Our structure and organisation behind the ball is something we need to look at. We’re always learning. When you lose, you learn. What we have got to do as a group, as I said after Aston Villa last week, is manage moments better.
“We’ve got to direct the boys a little bit better in these key moments in games to help win more games. We’re very close at the moment in terms of being really competitive. The boys are playing some excellent football in possession and we’re facing some excellent teams.
“I’m really pleased with the development of the group. I know if we carry on developing the way we are, the results will come. More importantly, in the forefront of our minds is the development of the individuals. We’re seeing that at the moment with the Under-18s moving into the Development Squad.
“There were a huge number of positives in the fixture within individuals but also as a team. Tommy Neale was back from a slight injury and although he didn’t finish the game, was excellent. Also Mirsad Ali, who is playing across the Under-18s and Under-21s at the moment, those two had excellent performances.”
We had an excellent start against Sunderland in terms of the performance and result so we want to carry that on against Stoke.Adam Barradell
Meeting Stoke City comes next for the Foxes youngsters on Saturday 21 October (11am BST kick-off), with the side coached by Barradell currently sitting second in U18 Premier League Cup Group A ahead of the trip to Clayton Wood.
The 37-year-old added: “We’ve got a little bit of a break in the programme and then a Premier League Cup match which is another good fixture against a team that we don’t play in our league, so it’ll be an excellent game pitting us against a different opposition.
“We want to do well in the cups, the Premier League Cup and the Youth Cup. We had an excellent start against Sunderland in terms of the performance and result so we want to carry that on against Stoke and qualify from the group, so that will be important for us as staff and players.”
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