Hatters youth boss Inigo Idiakez admitted being especially disappointed by the Town Under-18s’ 4-2 defeat to Southend United in the EFL Youth Alliance South-East Division on Saturday morning at a windswept Ely Way.
The Hatters led through an eight-minute goal from captain Joe Mead, but Southend levelled before half-time and then netted three more before Corey Panter pulled an 84th-minute consolation back for the Hatters.
Professional development phase lead coach Idiakez was unhappy with his side’s failure to build on the previous two matches, which had brought four points from a 2-0 win over Northampton and a 1-1 draw at AFC Wimbledon.
“I was really disappointed with the boys,” said the Spanish coach. “In the last two games they were excellent, but this time we conceded four goals, which is not normal for us and they were sloppy goals as well.
“There are things they have to learn if they want to go to the first team, but I was quite disappointed with them because they had the ability to get the result, going one-nil up and playing well.
“Southend were waiting for us all the time and gave us the ball to play, so there was plenty of space, and this time we didn’t create a lot of chances.
“We had nine in the first half, which isn’t bad, but there were no clear chances, and I was quite disappointed with the way we defended. It is something we have to learn as quickly as possible.”
Idiakez refused to blame the conditions as Storm Brian made it a windswept day at football stadiums up and down the country, as the senior squad found at Crawley, let lone wide open training grounds like Ely Way.
“We can moan about the wind, but it’s the same for both teams so I’m not going to do that,” said Idiakez. “I told them at the end of the game that they have to go home and think about themselves.
“In every training session and every game you have to show character and you have to show that you want to be a football player.
“It’s not about having the ball all the time, playing out and easy football. It’s about being a team and we didn’t play as a team. I was disappointed this time for the way we conceded goals and the way we didn’t show the character needed.”
The Hatters youngsters are away at fellow strugglers Peterborough this Saturday, with an 11am kick-off at Oundle Road (post code PE2 7EA for any supporters wanting to take in the game before making their way to Kenilworth Road for the Coventry match!)
Idiakez added: “Peterborough are bottom of the table, we are nearly there, so it’s going to be a massive game for us.
“Hopefully they will have learned from the weekend and we can put the effort in on the training ground this week, we can play a good game and feel more comfortable about doing things. Hopefully the boys can show a bit more than last Saturday.”
How the Town boys lined up: Parker, James, Mead ©, Panter, Byron (A Jones), Sorunke, Richardson (Stead), Belgrove, Read, Shamalo, Neufville