Burton under 18s succumbed to their first defeat of the season, in all competitions, as they fell 1-0 to Wigan on Saturday.The youngsters had been on a blistering run of no defeats in their opening five games this season, drawing just once away to Chesterfield.
Head of youth development Mike Whitlow took positives from the side’s loss but felt that there were a few discrepancies in the performance:
“We played well first 20 minutes; Marcus had a good chance after taking it off of their goalkeeper. Second half we didn't keep possession well and Wigan scored from a corner and they continued to press.
“Brad smith and Jayden Cotterill did well in defence and Charlie Hornby made 2 excellent saves late on,”
Whitlow was gracious in defeat, admitting that “Wigan were better than us in the second half and deserved their victory,”
Regardless of the defeat, level the players are playing at and the results that came before this game will be seen as a real positive. Under 18s manager Lee Glover has his sights firmly set on prioritising developing talent for the future over results, previously stating: “We are working with Marcus (Dinanga) and he is coming on nicely; as are five or six in the squad.
“What we are looking to do is development, so we are not looking at results; we are looking at players improving because that’s what it is about. If we take one or two hits here and there and not winning games but we get one or two players in the first team then our job is done,”
While the success of the first team may make it harder for players to get a look in at the moment; there is no doubt that if performances levels stay high, and development targets keep getting hit, there is no doubt that some of the young Brewers will be knocking on the door very soon.