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Cooper reflects on well-earned draw


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth under-21s manager Shaun Cooper had mixed emotions following the Premier League Cup draw with Liverpool away from home.

The Cherries fell behind but with ten minutes to go, Kyle Taylor's exquisite strike drew the visitors level deservedly at the Liverpool Academy.

The result means the Cherries are five points ahead of Liverpool in Group C of the Premier League Cup after three games, sitting top of the group.

It didn't secure qualification, but it was a big step towards getting out of the group and Cooper was pleased with the collective effort of his side.

"The pleasing thing is for us that we could have played a lot better," he said.

"We got in good areas with some good passages of play and we didn't quite capitalise on them.

"From that perspective it's pleasing and disappointing at the same time, credit to the boys for a good result but we still want better.

"Kyle's goal was a brilliant finish, we all know Kyle's quality and he delivered a great hit when it mattered.

"The team's work rate was excellent and everyone's attitude was spot on."

Amongst the players demonstrating the professionalism of the squad was Marc Pugh, who played 90 minutes again for the under-21s in order to maintain his match fitness.

Cooper singled the winger out for praise, saying: "The objective was to win the game, but not to lose after going a goal behind the lads showed great character to come back to salvage a point.

"Like I said everyone's attitude was spot on, the subs who came on, the subs who didn't come on, it was a real collective effort.

"But I have to give extra credit to Pughie who played today. He was a real example to the rest of boys, the words he said before, during and after the game in particular - he had wise words, shared his experiences and that's priceless for us."

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