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Connell - We’ve got more tests to come


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Alan Connell reacted to his side's 2-0 Saturday win over Swindon Town, the under-18s' first competitive win of the campaign.

Goals either side of half time guided the Cherries to their victory, Euan Pollock continuing his electric pre-season form with a first competitive strike, coming from the penalty spot, before Jake Adams doubled the home team’s advantage.

After the match, manager Alan Connell spoke to afcb.co.uk and gave his verdict on the win.

“I was pleased with the first half,” he began. “Swindon sat in to try to make it difficult for us but I felt we handled that quite well. We passed the ball well and the difference this week, compared to last week when we drew 0-0, was that we got the early breakthrough.

“That settled the boys down. I was delighted for Euan to score his penalty and I thought we controlled the half and dictated the play, without having too many chances.

“At half time we spoke about making sure the concentration levels stayed high, as despite how dominant we’d been it was only 1-0. In the second half I didn’t think we were as good on the ball, they pushed us higher and at times we struggled to deal with that.

“There were some good lessons in there for the boys, things we need to do better, and we’ll look forward to working on them next week.

“Saying that, we managed to score another goal through a really well-taken counter attack. Jake Adams was able to finish that and, while we could have got one or two more, on the flipside of that it’s another clean sheet and that’s really pleasing – we limited them to very few chances.

“Overall I’m pleased but we could have been much better on the ball. We demand so much of the boys, we realise it’s high-risk football but technically and tactically we think that’s the best way to develop our players.

“The second goal was a prime example of that, as well as being able to see the physical aspect: five or six of the boys sprinted the length of the pitch and for the boys to have that composure to finish off the move was really satisfying for all the players and the staff.”

The youth team are next in action on Friday when they play away at Forest Green Rovers, with Connell excited to have another opportunity to soon get further competitive football.

He said: “We’ve done a lot of work in pre-season and we’re pleased with two clean sheets and the defensive side of our game. We’ve got more tests to come – we were unfortunate last week as we probably played better but drew the game. That’s football sometimes.

“It’s been a good start off the back of a good pre-season where we competed well against all category one teams. There are a lot of games to come but games that we should be going into in good shape.”

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