EDS & Academy

Wilkinson focused on positives after Premier League Cup elimination

Ben Wilkinson was pleased with ten-man City's desire, commitment and attitude during the 0-1 Premier League Cup quarter-final defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

The youngsters suffered two first-half blows in the form of Jahmai Simpson-Pusey's red card on the half-hour mark and Jamie Donley's deflected goal for Tottenham deep into stoppage time before the interval.


However, we emerged with an attacking intent in the second period, coming close twice through Isaiah Dada-Mascoll, but we couldn't find the goal to force extra time, resulting in us bowing out of the competition.

Wilkinson was disappointed with the result, but saw plenty to be positive about at the Academy Stadium.

"I thought in the first half we weren't up to our usual level, I thought in the 20 or 30 minutes we were a bit too open," he said.

"We conceded one or two too many openings for Spurs to score, but we did look dangerous with the ball and had some chances ourselves. Obviously the game completely changes when you lose a man.

"From that point, I think we can be pleased with the way we played in the second half in the terms of the desire, commitment and attitude of the players, staying in the game and trying to get an equaliser.

"So plenty of positives to take from the second half, first half we weren't quite at it and it's probably cost us in the end.

"This competition alone we had no problems, we played well in all the group games and the performance wasn't bad today at all, so it's just disappointing with the way the first half panned out and the way we conceded the goal as well."

Simpson-Pusey's early dismissal for two bookable offences provided the visitors with the impetus to push forward before the interval and they got their reward with the deflected goal, which was enough to secure progression into the semi-finals.

However, Wilkinson believes that there's no time to ponder over the defeat, with Tuesday's FA Youth Cup fifth round clash with Fleetwood Town fast approaching.

"I think it's a tiny bit harsh, he only made two tackles in the game," he said.


"The first one probably was [a yellow card], but the second one looked like he got to the ball first. But it is what it is, you get these decisions in football and it's all about how we respond and we responded well.

"There's no time to be disappointed, you have to go again. The lads will be in tomorrow for recovery, we'll assess the players who took knocks today and get ready to go and play another game on Tuesday."