After being held to a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion, Justin Walker believes the ‘positives’ far outweighed any negatives for his Derby County Under 18s side.In an entertaining game at the Training Centre in partnership with the University of Derby, Jahvan Davidson-Miller clinched an early lead before Rahis Nabi converted in injury time of the first half from the penalty spot to level matters.
Max Bird did restore the Rams’ lead with just five minutes remaining on the clock but a further injury time goal, this time from Callum Morton, ensured that the visitors returned to the West Midlands with a point under their belts.
Speaking to give his thoughts on the game, Walker, Derby’s professional development phase coach, spoke to RamsTV and praised his side in particular for the positive start they made to their first game of 2017.
Walker said: “It was an interesting game and one that I think we started ever so well.
“In the first 15 or so minutes I thought that the players applied themselves well and we were on the front foot to create quite a few good chances and we deservedly took the lead.
“We scored two excellent goals. I thought Jahvan (Davidson-Miller) deserved his goal after he created it pretty much out of nothing and as for Max’s (Bird) finish, we all know he has that quality so it was good to see that go in too.
“All the lads put an awful lot into the game, but we certainly have to look back and review – that being said, there is more positives than negatives to take, that’s for sure.
“We have been caught out with two injury time goals and managing games during them periods are something that we will have to address as both goals were avoidable.”
As well as reflecting on the overall performance, Walker also took time to talk about the significant stoppage of play due to an injury during the first half to the Baggies’ goalkeeper Brad House, which saw almost 20 minutes of injury time added on.
Walker added: “There was quite a lengthy stoppage in the first half due to West Brom’s goalkeeper taking quite a whack. Obviously that disrupted the flow of the game a little bit but it is something that no one likes to see.
“The long break in play was something that, fortunately, I haven’t seen too often but it was a new sort of challenge for them; to keep their concentration during that period and keep their focus.
“It was the same for both teams, they had to get themselves ready to go again during a short space of time and on the whole, taking the unfortunate situation out of it, it was a good, entertaining game.”
Tweets by @ dcfcofficial