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ANDY AWFORD ON THE YOUTH TEAM'S WIN OVER LEYTON ORIENT

14 August 2017

Town academy manager Andy Awford was glad to see his side improve after their defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge as they picked up a 1-0 win over Leyton Orient on Saturday.

A 2-0 loss to the Daggers on the opening day of the youth team season saw Awford try and rectify the issues he saw in that game on the training ground, with the ex-Portsmouth boss pleased with the outcome.

He said: "It was a pleasing performance. We did a lot of work after the Dagenham game on final third play. We were pleased with the way the boys went about their work – they don't always get it right, but they try to do the right things. Overall it was pleasing.

"We conceded from two set-pieces against Dagenham so that was another big thing we looked at. They scored from a corner and a long throw – which we addressed.

"We controlled the game for the most part against Leyton Orient, we felt anyway. We could have probably had a couple more. We took our best chance on the hour mark, Kitan Sorunke firing in from close after good work from Michael Shamalo.

"He used his pace and power down the side and we had a lot of bodies in the box waiting for the ball which is something we have asked them to do more and Kitan arrived at the back stick with a four-yard tap-in!"

A number of players in the Town youth team are still getting to grips with full-time football, having just left education to become first year scholars with the club.

"There's a massive adjustment for them to make to their lifestyle," Awford continued, "because they come straight out of school to a full-time training model which they've not been used to.

"As much as we try to integrate them in their final year of school, their education has to come first in that period.

"They have been with us now for ten weeks and they are still integrating, the feedback we get from their parents is they're going home and sleeping a lot more than they used to! It's still early days for them."

The Hatters youth team are next in action this Saturday, when they take on Barnet.


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