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Wilcox encouraged by aspects against West Brom

4 October 2019

Under-23s manager Russ Wilcox felt there was a lot to be encouraged by from the team’s performance in the Premier League Cup group stage clash against West Bromwich Albion on Friday night.

A much more established Baggies side ran out 2-0 winners at the Sands Venue Stadium, but Wilcox felt the display was encouraging.

He explained: “We’re really pleased with the performance. West Brom are an outstanding team and move the ball really well. They had a lot of the ball but we created the best chances, and quite a few good opportunities if you look back on it.

“We’re really pleased with the lads, they played some nice football at times. We kept our shape well without the ball and there were some really good performances. That was pleasing because we had six scholars in the 16 man squad tonight, and that was brilliant for them and the academy.

“Cam (Cameron Wilson) had an outstanding debut for the Under-23s. He’s a very confident young man and is a credit to his family. He’s 16 and was at school this time last year, so to compete against the calibre of player he has done tonight is a massive tick for him and gives the academy a little building block. Tony (Daws), Steve (Thornber) and the rest of the coaching staff work incredibly hard but it can be very difficult to get from youth team to first team without something like this.

“That’s why we put this in place. I thought tonight’s game was a great example of that. West Brom’s youth team played today so there were no youth players in their squad. They’re an established Under-23s group and we’re just starting out. We trained on Thursday with seven players and it’s difficult to work on shape, but we just get on with things.”

It was the side’s first competitive match in more than three weeks, and Wilcox explained the withdrawal of George Hornshaw in the closing stages.

“Some of the lads were cramping up at the end, and we brought George Hornshaw off because we don’t want to be picking injuries up,” he added.

“We have a few games coming up now and are looking at the bigger picture.”

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