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Alexander Youth Reaction

21 August 2012

PNE.Com speaks to youth team boss Graham Alexander following Saturday's trip to Carlisle...

“I am not going to dwell on the Carlisle performance, we have spoken about it after the game, and we have spoken about it briefly at the start of this week.

“Those qualities were not there and that was the biggest disappointment for me, the coaching staff and the players as well. 

“Passing, control and technique levels can go up and down at any age not just youth level but having that base of competitiveness running through and wanting to win, that should be day in day out.

“We dipped below those standards and I can never accept that and I never will because they are the bare minimums that anybody can give you. 

“I know more than anybody that you can’t perform at a consistent level week in week out but the bare minimum should be that you should be competitive and give 100% work rate across every single game and training session. 

“We didn’t play particularly well and we didn’t compete as well as we should as young players should be doing to make their way in the game. The minimum that we expect is that they are competitive and we didn’t have that.

“I told them because they need to know and they need to learn. The players knew themselves that they weren’t good enough and they are disappointed. 

“The difference this time around is that we also didn’t get the right result and the lads know that as well. 

“There are not many positives to take away the biggest disappointment is that the week before we won whilst not putting in a great performance,”

“The lads know if they want to be professional footballers then the silly mistakes have to be cut out and hopefully they will learn from the experience.

“They won the match 2-0 in the end, but they were not two goals of quality, they were basic goals which should be stopped at any level.

“In the second half I wanted the lads to pick up their performance but the competitive edge wasn’t apparent, we didn’t compete and Carlisle deserved to win. 

“In the first half against Carlisle we didn’t play particularly well but it was an even game and at half time the score was still 0-0,” said Alexander.

After the game, youth team boss Graham Alexander expressed his disappointment in his side’s performance, explaining that they lacked a competitive edge.

Preston North End U18s suffered their first defeat of the season, falling2-0 at the hands of Carlisle United in Cumbria on Saturday.

“Your career comes from what you do when you cross the white line on a Saturday. Hopefully they will take in what we have taught them in training and produce the goods on a Saturday."

“It is no good being a Monday to Friday player because at the end of the day you are not going to make a career out of that. 

“It has to be constantly running though you and they have shown that they are ready to put it right. We have explained to them that what they have to take what they do in training into the games. 

“They have shown us that hopefully it was a blip and they have been competitive with each other and that is what you want, it is not a switch that you can turn on and off. 

“If they give us the same response that they have done in training since the Carlisle game then that is fine by me. 

Pleased with his squad’s response in training Alexander continued: “The focus is on the next game that is what all of our focus is on now, whatever you do if you win or lose you have to put it behind you, learn from it and concentrate on the next game.

Since the Carlisle United defeat, the North End youngsters have been back in training preparing for this weekend’s home task against neighbours Burnley, a team which the Lilywhites beat in the LFA Youth Cup final earlier this summer.

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