Mark Jackson: They stood up to the challenge

Mark Jackson: They stood up to the challenge

U23s head coach pleased with victory.

Mark Jackson gave his thoughts after seeing his side put in an excellent display away at Wigan Athletic, to claim all three points.

The Whites went into this Premier League Cup clash looking for a victory, to increase their chances of qualifying from Group E to the knock-out stages.

Speaking after the match, Jackson stated he was proud of his young team.

"I'm really proud,” the Under-23s head coach stated. 

"As a group of coaching staff, we thanked them because they took on board the information that we gave them. That hasn't always been the case, which happens with young players sometimes.

"They stood up to the challenge. They have to learn how to play against bigger and stronger players. One thing there is at this club is an opportunity for younger players to step up and play beyond their age groups.

"That is what is happening this season. It has taken a little while to get to grips with it but there were a lot of things that showed we can be feeling positive heading into the second half of the season."

Two stunning goals either side of half-time from Nohan Kenneh and Max Dean were the highlights in what was an excellent team performance throughout the 90 minutes. 

"Any goal is a good goal,” Jackson explained. 

"I was really pleased for Nohan. I thought his contribution in the first half alongside Archie Gray in midfield was really, really good.

“I thought he showed a lot of positivity in his movement to get on the ball and create space for others. To get the goal from that position was really positive.

"I think in the first half Max [Dean] dealt with balls into his feet really well. We wanted him to threaten the backline a little bit more in the second half.

“He contributed really, really well. Not just with the goal but his all-round performance. He was part of good aspects of our pressing."