Duff’s praise for young­sters de­spite loss

Gloucestershire Echo - - FOOTBALL -

ROBINS man­ager Michael Duff praised his young guns de­spite the 1-0 Leas­ing.com Tro­phy loss at Exeter.

Nicky Ajose scored the only goal af­ter five min­utes as Duff fielded a side with an av­er­age age of 21 in­clud­ing three Academy prod­ucts, two of whom, Archie Bren­nan, 18, and 17-year-old Tom Chamberlai­n, made their first-team de­buts.

“I thought we were ex­cel­lent,” said Duff.

“We should have won the game. There was a piv­otal mo­ment in the game where we should have had ei­ther a penalty or they should have had a red card.

“We should have had one or the other. The keeper has also made an unbelievab­le save and their lad has backed him up by mak­ing an unbelievab­le block.

“Se­cond half I thought we dom­i­nated the game and if we per­form like that away from home, more of­ten than not, I’ll take that.

“Chambo (Tom Chamberlai­n) is ap­par­ently 10 days off be­ing the youngest player since the club got into the Foot­ball League, he’s only just turned 17.”

The no-penalty no-red card in­nci­dent came when Gary War­ren chal­lenged George Lloyd and Duff said: “I couldn’t see whether it was in the box.

“Russ (Mil­ton) thought it was in the box and Tim (Bell) the an­a­lyst thought it was in the box at half-time.

“I thought it was a stone wall red card. I spoke to the ref­eree’s as­ses­sor just now and he agreed with me.

“It is frus­trat­ing be­cause they are key de­ci­sions in games.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing for the young lads as they’ve walked off with a de­feat.

“If we get the penalty and I’d like to think we’d have scored it be­cause Conor Thomas was on the pitch.

“Then it’s game on and it picks their tails up.

“The only dis­ap­point­ing thing is that we have con­ceded within four min­utes from a set play.

“We have lost 1-0 again to a set play and three goals we’ve con­ceded in this and the two league games have been dead balls.”

Duff also praised Bren­nan, goal­keeper Rhys Lovett and young de­fender Dan Bowry.

“Archie isn’t used to be­ing in that po­si­tion (right wing-back) but I thought he was ex­cel­lent, will­ing to take the ball in tight ar­eas.

“Rhys Lovett hasn’t had a great deal to do and Dan Bowry, an­other one mak­ing his full de­but, was ex­cel­lent and didn’t look out of place at all.

“We brought 17 play­ers down and that’s every­one we have and a youth team player.

“We are down to the bare bones, but there is still enough qual­ity in the team.

“We’ve had four or five what you might call starters, out ev­ery game so far this sea­son, but we’ve been com­pet­i­tive in ev­ery game.”

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