EDS & Academy

Barry-Murphy delighted with response in EDS fight-back

Brian Barry-Murphy hailed Manchester City Elite Development Squad’s (EDS) ‘superb’ response after his side came from behind to claim a point against Club Brugge in the UEFA Youth League.

The Belgian outfit dominated the opening 45-minutes and deservedly led at half-time, but City were much improved in the second period, when Joshua Wilson-Esbrand struck to preserve our unbeaten record in the group stage.


Barry-Murphy felt that on the balance of play a draw was a fair result, and, whilst he acknowledged there was room for improvement in the final third, he was pleased with how his players wrestled back control of the contest in front of a partisan home crowd.

“We knew how good Brugge were and what I test they would provide and in the first half I think we just found it difficult,” he told mancity.com.

“As the game wore on, I thought we responded in superb fashion, took control of the game in the second half and scored a goal.

“I think if our play was slightly better in the final third we would have created more chances and ultimately had more chances to win the game, but I think it was a fair result.

“I felt the team were a bit surprised by the intensity of the opponent [in the first half], which can happen with young players.

“At half-time I said it was about remembering how we want to do things and the amount of intensity we have had in previous games.

“That was there in the second half and as such the overall response was very positive.”

City are tied on five points with both Brugge and Paris Saint-Germain after three games in Group A, with all three teams sharing the points with each other and claiming their solitary win against Leipzig.

It means it is all to play for in the second half of the group stage, which begins when the Belgians visit the Academy Stadium next month.

Whilst the EDS set-up is very much about developing players, Barry-Murphy is eyeing a good run in the competition, with the belief that his squad are more than capable of reaching the knockout stage.

“In terms of development, this competition is priceless so we’ll be doing everything in our power to progress as far as we can to aid that development,” he added.

“It is a very competitive group, as we’ve seen, with very good teams.

“I believe, irrespective of what players we have available, that we’re as good as anyone on our day and it’s our job to give the players the belief and the support to display that side of us and I think we will.”