Justin Walker felt his Derby County Under-18s side were fully deserving of their 3-1 win over Sunderland on Saturday after seeing his side dominate for much of the match.
Two goals from Eiran Cashin and an own-goal completed the scoring for the Rams and ensured they got back to winning ways after last week’s defeat to Everton.
In windy conditions at the Derby County Training Centre, Derby would enjoy a lot of possession in the game and Walker appreciated his side’s efforts overall.
Speaking to dcfc.co.uk, he said: “We controlled the game for 90 minutes really. I think they didn’t really offer much in terms of an attacking threat to us, but I was disappointed that we conceded actually.
“We lost a little bit of discipline in our play without the ball in the second-half, and that’s what cost us the goal against really. But, with the chances we created, we deserved to win the game.
“This is how we’ve been playing and the way we do play. I thought we lacked a bit of tempo in the first-half and didn’t play forward as much as we would’ve liked.
“We didn’t open them up as much as we should’ve done. But I thought we did that well second-half and we were more positive, and as a result, created the better opportunities.”
It took an unusual goal to secure the win for Derby late on as Cashin’s ball forward caught the wind and flew in for his side’s third.
Although it wasn’t meant, Walker thought that this goal summed up a change in positivity from his players after half-time.
He said: “I’m not sure about the third goal really. I’m not sure how many goals Cash (Eiran Cashin) will score from 40 yards, but obviously Connor has made a great run and he’s tried to find him and it’s just spilled into the goal.
“We spoke about it at half-time and it’s difficult when a team comes and puts 11 men behind the ball.
“We’ve faced that challenge already this season, and at times we’ve worked it out and showed enough initiative to find a way through it.
“But we didn’t do it consistently enough first-half and I thought we were a little bit more aggressive with our play after half-time.
Next week sees the Rams host Sunderland again, but this time in the Under-18s Premier League Cup.
After a 4-1 win at Brighton in their first fixture in this competition, Walker says it is providing further challenges for his side.
He said: “It’s a great challenge. We didn’t progress in that competition last season. We didn’t lose a game in the group-stage, but we didn’t go through.
“I think the variety of the competition is an exciting one. We’ve got Aston Villa to come, so there are some good challenges ahead for the players.
“Obviously, the progression of the players is the most important thing. Morgan and Knighty (Morgan Whittaker and Jason Knight) were missing today and players have stepped in, so it’s good for us to create different opportunities for different players.”