Analysis

Under-18s reaction: Brand on Southampton point and start of the season

Chelsea Under-18s head coach Ed Brand was left frustrated after seeing his side pegged back and held to a draw against Southampton at the weekend, but he has identified positives from the season so far and wants to make those consistent.

The young Blues took a first-half lead through left-back Alex Kpakpe, who volleyed into the top corner on his debut at Under-18 level, and the team emerged hungry from the interval, going close to adding another goal but Harvey Vale’s attempt couldn’t beat the woodwork.

Shortly after an hour's action and against the run of play, Southampton stole a goal back but despite our best efforts we couldn’t find a winner and that left a sense of frustration over the boss.

‘Frustrating is the main word – after watching some of the game back, I can see a lot of good things that we tried to implement,' explained Brand. 'We weren’t at our best but we were more than good value for the three points.

‘We just lacked some good decision-making and quality in the final third which has cost us today but there are lot of positives to take forward. I’m pleased with how the boys are working and taking challenges on but just frustrated we haven’t come away with the win.

‘There have been a lot more positives to come from the season so far,' Brand continued when reflecting on the campaign opening. 'In terms of the points tally, we should have a couple more. The Brighton result was a fair one because we weren’t at our best in the first half but much better in the second half. Against West Ham, I was pleased with large portions of the game - we scored four really good goals and could’ve had a few more.

‘Results aside, the boys are improving on a lot of things. I’m seeing bits in every game where we have improved from the previous showing. The next challenge for the boys is to put it together consistently but overall I’m pleased with how things are. We're looking forward to Friday’s game against Crystal Palace.’

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