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Taylor: We had an off day

INSTRUCTION: Gareth Taylor works with the U18s on the training ground.

INSTRUCTION: Gareth Taylor works with the U18s on the training ground.

Manchester City U18s were ‘masters of their own downfall’ as they suffered a first home defeat of the season against Newcastle.

That’s the verdict of manager Gareth Taylor who believes the 5-2 defeat was a consequence of too many of his side having an off day.

The former City player turned coach felt the Magpies were good value for the win, but lamented his side’s uncharacteristic carelessness in possession.

“I thought Newcastle were very good, very physical and they pressed us hard,” he said.

“I told their manager, Dave Watson, I’m surprised they’re down the bottom of the league.

“You’ve got to give them a lot of credit, but we didn’t help ourselves. We started OK but were probably masters of our own downfall.

“We were nowhere near as composed as we are normally and we didn’t retain the ball.

“We forced passes, dribbled when we should have moved the ball and took too many touches.

“That’s unlike us because we usually dominate games with and without the ball, but it was an off day for us.”

To lose at home and to concede five goals hurt both him and his players, admits Taylor, but he’s typically philosophical in defeat.

If his youngsters can learn from the loss, then that’s a positive and he’s quick to point out that once they get to first team level, it’s rare to enjoy spells like Pep Guardiola’s squad are currently doing.

“I don’t like getting beat in that manner and neither do the players,” he declared.

“But this is about development and hopefully they can learn from it because it’s not always going to go their way in their careers.

“The first team are doing tremendously to win every game, but that doesn’t happen very often and sometimes you learn more from losing.

“It will still be a bit raw for the lads, but there are a lot of things we can evaluate, learn from and try to improve for Middlesbrough next week.

“We’ll work hard to eliminate the areas we fell short and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

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