Senior Professional Development Coach says Shaquille McDonald deserved his first goals after netting a brace at Ewood Park
Lee Glover described the attitude and character his side displayed in their 4-3 victory over Blackburn Rovers last night as ‘first class’ as Derby County’s Under 21s ended 2014 on a winning note.
The Development side recovered from being 3-1 down at the interval to score three second half goals and extend their unbeaten run to seven consecutive games.
Glover, the Senior Professional Development Coach, said that the experience of playing in big stadium surroundings was a great experience for his players and insisted it was mission accomplished for him and his players – after insisting they wanted to end the year on a high.
Speaking to dcfc.co.uk, he said: “We played Blackburn Rovers on Ewood Park, so that was good experience for the lads in our side.
“We were a bit disappointed to come in 3-1 down, we hadn’t played particularly badly, we just needed to sort out a few things and going into the second half, the character, the determination and the attitude the lads showed was first class.
“We spoke about it in a team meeting earlier in the week. We wanted to go into the Christmas break on a high.
“We have had a good six weeks and the lads have responded and done magnificently. They are taking on board what we are saying, but more importantly, when they go out on to the pitch, they are having ago.
“That’s all we ask, we just want them to work hard and have ago at the opposition and they are doing that superbly.”
Whilst Alban Bunjaku and Tom Koblenz got on the score sheet, Shaquille McDonald opened his account for the Under 21 side with a second half brace to complete the comeback.
Glover believes the young forward deserved his goals for the patience he has had to show in his bid for a starting role, but says McDonald has shown how effective he can be from the bench in recent weeks.
“Shaq (Shaquille McDonald) has been very patient. You have to look at the group and you can understand why he has been in and out of the team.
“They were his first goals, but in the last six weeks when he has come on, he has affected games. He has added to them, he has looked dangerous and if anybody gets chance to look at the goals, the second one in particular, they will see they were great finishes.
“He is delighted with that and we are delighted with him because he has been patient, his attitude has been first class and he has got his rewards.”
Glover’s side is not scheduled to play again now until January 8 2015 when they face Sunderland in the Under 21 Cup at the iPro Stadium.
Glover says the tie represents a ‘big test’ for his players but it is one that they are relishing to the extent that, like the first team, the Under 21s will not have much of a break in the coming weeks.
He added: “Sunderland are a league above us and that is going to be a test for us. We look forward to these tests and it is a game that we are looking forward to that game.
“We have finished strongly and now we use this break to prepare properly for that game. The lads are in every other day over the Christmas period.
“They won’t get a break because they might be needed for the first team, but for us, we will just be building up to that Sunderland game.”
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