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Boro U21s Looking For Positive Response Against Liverpool

Posted: Thu 18 Feb 2016
Author: MFC

Academy side lost to Sunderland earlier in the week...

Paul Jenkins is looking for his Boro Under-21s side to bounce back from defeat at Sunderland on Monday with a good performance against Liverpool on Thursday evening (7pm).

Boro lost 3-2 to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light earlier this week having taken a 2-1 lead and Jenkins admits it was a difficult result to take.

“We knew the Sunderland game was going to be difficult and it was, they’ve been flying high,” said Jenkins. 

“They’re second top of the league and first the first 25 minutes I don’t think we acquitted ourselves well. 

“As the game went on I thought we got ourselves going. We had opportunities and had a great penalty shout turned down. 

“I think the greatest positive of the night has to be Dael Fry’s performance with the first team. From our perspective, Dael has done really well. 

“He’s slotted in to the first team squad and I know the first team staff were delighted with his performance. 

“The result from our game was disappointing but on the night we have to look at one of our academy players who played and did really well in a massive game for the first team.”

Liverpool are just two points and two places above Boro in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League table, but the Teessiders have played two games less.

Jenkins fielded two first team players in Alex Baptiste and Rhys Williams in the Sunderland game, but Aitor Karanka’s squad are currently in Marbella for warm weather training.

In light of this, the Under-21s coach says the away game at Liverpool presents an opportunity to his academy players for them to step up and show their talent.

“The Liverpool game is an opportunity to address the balance and go again,” said Jenkins. 

“There will obviously be changes to the side and hopefully the personnel we put out will do themselves justice.

“Hopefully we’ve learnt a few lessons and we have nothing to fear. We’re a good team with good individual players and what we need is a consistent run of games. 

“I’d expect Liverpool to have a strong philosophy of how to play the game. We’ve done our analysis and looked at some of the games Liverpool have played. 

“They’ve played a few different formations and I expect them to have some technically gifted and talent individuals but I think we’re the same. We have a good team spirit and good players. 

“So hopefully we’ll go across to Chester and make sure we put on a good performance.”