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U21s - Bolton Next Up

With the winter break in the U21 schedule well and truly over following our one nil victory over Everton last week, the youngsters are back in action tonight and they face Bolton Wanderers away from home.

Speaking to the Official Site before boarding the coach to travel up to Lancashire FA for the 7pm kick off, U21 manager Gordon Cowans looked back on the Everton game and hailed the maturity and professionalism of the side, as they kept their focus following a horrific challenge sustained by Liam Bateman, who had to leave the game following a challenge that left him with a broken leg.

It led to an eight minute delay in the first half, and there were handbags from our players such was their temper following the tackle, and Cowans admitted the players were badly shaken at the time - hence his praise for them trying to put it behind them and continue with the rest of the game.

'What happened to Liam was horrendous and I think it affected the lads as well. The way they conducted themselves in the second half, they showed great maturity. It was difficult for anybody to go through and carry on. The game could've been abandoned but I think we did the right thing by seeing it through and getting on with it.'

Cowans goes on to say that on the day really we could've had a greater win margin, and he was very pleased with our performance in the second half and ultimately if the players wanted to prove something following the injury to Bateman, then picking up the win is the perfect way of making their point.

Unfortunately it is also a part of the game, and injuries like that do happen in tough challenges when damaging an opponent in that way couldn't be further from the opposition players' mind, and players do have to learn to put it behind them and focus back on the game, however horrible that does sound when you say it out loud.

One man from the game who did take a few extra plaudits was Hungarian midfielder Andras Stieber as he grabbed the winning goal at Goodison, and it was also his second goal in as many games for our U21s, and he now seems to be growing in stature nicely this season.

Audio and text commentary for the game will be available on the official site later like normal, and hopefully we can pick up another win and move further away from the bottom of the table as out of 22, we currently sit in 16th place.

Another three points tonight could see us move up to 7th depending on who else is playing, but we do have two games in hand over most teams, and three over some, so as long as we make those game count as we play catch up, we will find ourselves much higher in the table.

Whether we can put a run together to mount a shot at top spot remains to be seen, as that is currently occupied by Fulham on 28 points - six points clear of nearest chasers Liverpool and Chelsea.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 27 2014

Time: 2:40PM


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