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Connell - We want the players to have challenges


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Alan Connell praised his side's mentality and resilience after they bounced back to beat Portsmouth 4-2 away from home.

The under-18s suffered their first loss of the season in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday, but shook off the disappointment with a strong performance away at Furze Lane.

An early Jack Wadham goal set the tone, Jake Adams finishing a flowing move later in the half.

Pegged back to 2-1 at half time, Euan Pollock stretched the advantage before Pompey struck again.

However, Marcus Daws and the Cherries had the final word with a crisp low effort to confirm the away side's win along the coast

"I was really intrigued today at our reaction and I was very confident we'd get that from the boys," said Connell to afcb.co.uk after the win.

"This group aren't used to losing too many games and I got everything I thought I'd get from them. 

"It was a difficult game, Portsmouth away is always one of our toughest fixtures in the league. We made it comfortable at times and made it uncomfortable with conceding the two goals.

"There were moments of quality from us to win the game and come away from home and score four goals."

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Goals | Portsmouth 2-4 AFC Bournemouth

Scoring early in each half and asserting control over their opposition, Connell spoke about the keys to his side's success.   

"We started really fast," he said. "In the first game of the season Portsmouth made it difficult for us, as they tried to do today, but I could see in the warm up that the boys were bang on it.

"Jack Wadham finished really well for his first goal of the season and as captain of our team that was him leading by example. The second goal was well taken by Jake Adams in the goalscoring areas we want to get into more.

"The third goal came from Euan Pollock making problems for the goalkeeper, pressing high up the pitch which we want him to do - then finishing well into the far corner.

"The icing on the cake was Marcus Daws scoring into the bottom corner, he's adding goals to his game.

"We looked a threat going forwards today, possessed the ball for large spells, which is what we want to do."

Connell also praised his team's resilience after their two goal lead was twice shortened during the game, without it having a negative effect on the side.

"We want the players to go through challenges," he said. "The fact that we did get pegged back twice meant that we had to stay in control of the game, keep defending as a team and I think we didn't get flustered.

"That's credit to the boys' composure and their mentality to make sure we kept doing the right things in and out of possession and we got our rewards in the end."

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