Gordon Young was pleased with his players’ spirit as they bounced back from two successive defeats to win against St Johnstone today.
The youths crashed to back-to-back 5-0 reversals at the hands of both Rangers and Hearts in recent weeks and confidence took a knock.
However, speaking after his side’s 1-0 win against Saints, Young insists his players have as much to learn in defeat as they do in success.
“I think we just about deserved the win today,” said Young.
“We had a feel sorry for ourselves attitude to start off with which is natural. It’s as the golfers say, ‘There’s no picture in a scorecard’; you just look at the score and don’t take into consideration the goalkeeper getting sent off or the players being available, or in our case, unavailable. That is all a part of their apprenticeship and a couple of defeats of that nature won’t do them any harm.
“It can play on players’ minds though, particularly if winning has become a habit. When it doesn’t work out, it is hard to deal with and it’s up to the players to show character. In saying that, I think we have played some decent football amongst those defeats, indeed, I thought we were better against Rangers, and lost 5-0, than we were today yet we picked up all three points.”
Young was delighted with not only the wonder strike that won the game, but also the quality of defending at the back.
Grant Brown’s thirty yard thunderbolt gave goalkeeper Neil Duff no chance whilst Tom Bradley and his defenders were solid at the back to pick up their fifth clean sheet of the campaign.
He said: “It’s been very good, over the course of the season, to keep as many clean sheets as we have.
“Although the goalkeeper didn’t have too many saves to make, his overall commanding of the area was first class.
“The goal was richly deserved and right out the top drawer. Sometimes opposition teams restrict our passing game and that, combined with the conditions, mean we have to chance of philosophy at times. You can’t win games on a tactics board but we will continue to try and play the game in the correct manner which will, hopefully, benefit these players in the long term.”
Young finished by highlighting his disappointment at the location of next Sunday’s SFA Youth Cup game with Livingston.
Traditionally, Youth Cup games are played in the teams’ home ground but Livi have opted to play on their Field Turf (Astroturf) pitch, adjacent to their Almondvale home.
The Motherwell coach couldn’t hide his disappointment saying, “I think this (playing on the Field Turf pitch) devalues things but it certainly won’t devalue our preparation.
“As there are only two professional teams at every club, certainly in the SPL, this is the showcase tournament for the Under 19s and it is heavily sponsored and heavily publicised. You’ve also got to take into account that a game like this could be the biggest one of our lads may play.
“Not everyone can make it, getting the opportunity to play in nice grounds. We try and retain the integrity of the tournament and give it its place.
“Every Youth Cup game we’ve had at home has been played at Fir Park and that will continue. But I’d like to think Motherwell will take a decent wee support through there. There were over 400 at our last game against Stirling and I hope we get some of them returning for this match.”