City’s Elite Development Squad boss Andy Welsh was delighted with his side’s efforts despite their 3-1 Manchester Senior Cup loss against United last night.
Backed by a terrific Ewen Fields crowd of almost 1,600, City’s young squad took on a Reds team containing several multi-million pound signings and experienced internationals.
Unperturbed, the Blues threatened to steal the show, taking an early lead through Alex Nimely and looked much the better side for large portions of the game before weariness set in.
“I would like to think that we would get more out of the match than Manchester United would in terms of the development of our young players,” said a defiant Welsh.
That was the strongest reserve I think I have ever seen United put out. We heard what their team was going to be a few hours before kick-off, but we decided against changing ours
“I think our shape and discipline were good, but we looked tired second half and the quality that United had meant we had to chase the ball a bit, which eventually caught up with us.
“I think we worked really hard first half, but ended up getting over-run in the second period for 10 to 15 minutes.
“We knew we were up against it so our work rate and organisation had to be good, but if you lose your concentration at this level against players of that calibre, you’ll get hurt and that’s possibly what happened.
“Overall, I am delighted with the lads’ performance against such a strong team. Although we are buying all these fantastic players, I still think that the route to the first team is still there for them.
“They train regularly with the seniors and Roberto knows all the young players well. When he looks at Greg Cunningham, Abdi Ibrahim, and Alex Nimely, they will all have impressed him.”