Under-18s boss Ed Brand was pleased to see his youngsters continue their impressive unbeaten start to the season with victory over Tottenham but still saw room for improvement in their second-half performance.
Our youth team recorded an emphatic 5-3 victory at Tottenham’s training ground on Saturday morning to make it eight wins out of nine in the Under-18 southern section.
Following victory, Brand found it hard to criticise the young Blues’ first-half performance, with all five Chelsea goals coming before the break, although he admitted his team lacked the same intensity following the interval.
‘The scoreline is a funny one in terms of how the game panned out’, he told the official Chelsea website afterwards. ‘In the first half, I thought we were fantastic and it was the best football we’ve played all season. The only criticism I had at half-time was that we were only five goals up. We were excellent, we created numerous opportunities and the boys followed the game plan really well.
‘Every time we went forward, we looked a threat and out of possession our intensity was good, we were winning the ball back high and we were first to the second ball every time. I couldn’t fault them.
‘The second half followed a similar pattern in terms of us having more of the ball, being dominant and largely in Spurs’ half but understandably we lacked that little bit of intensity which we had in the first half.'
With it not being the second half Chelsea would have hoped for, Brand understands why his team weren’t as pleased with the result as they could have been but believes the performance was a reward of the hard work put in on the training pitch prior to the fixture.
‘You don’t come to Spurs and expect to be five goals up at half-time, that’s why I was so pleased and encouraged by the performance,' he continued. 'That showing was many weeks in the making in terms of what we are trying to do and the style of play we want to implement so it's all credit to the boys because they take on board the information and they are the ones who have to go and play.
‘I said to the team that they could come in and be a little bit dejected and flat because the scoreline doesn’t mirror the dominance.'
The Blues are one of three teams yet to taste defeat in the league and Brand credits the Under-18s age group as a whole for their efforts thus far and hopes to continue the near-perfect start after the international break.
‘We are getting towards the middle of November and haven’t lost in the league or cup and have only drawn once,' he added. 'It’s a terrific achievement and the credit deserves to go to the boys in the dressing room but not just the lads here today, the whole group.
‘It is only the middle of November so these records are nice but they ultimately mean nothing if you don’t follow it through. We’ve got some tough games coming up we need to make sure we are good in those.'
Our Under-19 UEFA Youth League game versus LOSC Lille on Tuesday 10 December will now kick off at 1pm local time and be broadcast live on BT Sport from our Cobham training ground.