Our development squad executed a late smash-and-grab to claim an important league derby win over Tottenham at the Lamex on Monday evening.
Head coach Andy Myers was pleased with his team after the final whistle, even if it wasn’t the greatest spectacle between the two sides.
‘I think the boys showed really good character tonight’, Myers said. ‘It’s a great result. I think the performance was one that was typical from both teams having just come back from a break - there was quality in certain parts but in the final third it wasn’t the greatest. Overall, it was a tough game and the boys showed really great character.’
Yet to lose a London derby at development squad level this season, Chelsea battled well throughout sticky periods and Myers was pleased with his team's response in the second half.
‘In these games there’s no love lost, it’s a London derby no matter what age group it’s at’, he explained. ‘I think we weathered the storm for the first 20 minutes, Spurs had a lot of the ball without really hurting us. Sometimes it looks like you’re under pressure more than you are at times but we grew into the game after the break. The team knew they could do better on the ball to give us more control of the game.
‘We back came out with the same sort of patterns and just a bit more organisation during the press, instead of people doing it on their own. We also kept to the structure that we spoke about and seemed to take a little bit more control in the later stages.'
Chelsea named a young bench with three of the five substitutes regulars in Ed Brand’s Under-18s squad and soon after Lewis Bate’s introduction – which warranted a change in shape – Armando Broja unleased the strike which ultimately gave the Blues the points to return to the top of the Premier League 2 table.
‘I’m very pleased with everyone, including the substitutes that came,' added Myers. 'Jon Russell had a massive impact and Lewis Bate came on into a tough game so everybody played their part.
‘We changed our shape, which we thought about doing before the game and Armando and Jon showed their quality - the smart through ball and great finish from Armando. It’s something that he needs to do and it was nice to see, as long as he keeps hitting the target everyone will be happy.’
The young Blues are back in action this Saturday 11 January when they take on Manchester City at Aldershot in an 11.55am kick-off.