EDS & Academy

Brian Barry-Murphy praises squad after testing week

Head coach Brian Barry-Murphy has praised his squad’s application after a tough week for the City youngsters.

After a 3-1 win over League One side Derby County in the Papa John’s Trophy in midweek, City had a top of the table clash against Crystal Place at the City Football Academy to contend with on Saturday afternoon.

The Elite Development Squad were denied all three points against the Eagles despite goals from Josh Adam, Alex Robertson and an own goal putting City within touching distance of top spot.

However, a stoppage time header from Ademola Ola-Adebomi saw the spoils shared at the CFA. Despite that, Barry-Murphy was delighted with his side’s performance.

He said: “I think Crystal Palace always give us a stern examination, they did last season. It was a good game, a perfect game for me really on what has been a really great week for the lads.

“I know the quality they [Crystal Palace] have, Paddy [McCarthy] has done a great job in terms of moulding a squad that embodies what their club is about. You can see the individual quality in their players.

“They have a great spirit amongst them, so to see our players match that and really we should have won the game.

“From our point of view to produce a performance like we did is very pleasing after what has been a very testing week for the players, physically.”

The introduction of Robertson at the start of the second half proved to be a game-changing substitution for the Blues, with him netting within nine minutes of the restart.

After spending some time on the sidelines last season, Barry-Murphy was pleased to see the midfielder back to his best.

He added: “A critical part of what we want to do is help all the players who are at different points in their career, so Alex is coming back from a really serious injury and has been out on loan and come back.

“He has worked so hard on the training pitch so to see him come on the second half was great for him, and it will motivate him even better as he moves forward in the season.”

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