BURTON Albion under 18s manager Sam Rose was content with the way his side played in their 1-1 draw with Rotherham United but admits there was some room for improvement.
He believes his side can continue pushing for top spot in the Youth Alliance League in the second half of the season.
Joe Sbarra struck to continue his good goalscoring record this season, while the Brewers maintained the four point gap between themselves and top-of-the-league Mansfield Town after the Stags draw with Doncaster Rovers, with Burton still having a game in hand.
Brewers U18s were hoping to pick up where they had left off before Christmas and Rose said that he is feeling optimistic about the side’s prospects for the second part of the season.
“On reflection, it was an average performance but a good result,” Rose said.
“Rotherham were a big, strong team and, having not played for a few weeks and having had some time off, it was good to get the lads back on the pitch. Against a strong, physical team, a 1-1 draw was a good result.
“The match itself was end to end. We played some good football from back to front and the lads worked really hard, as they always do. We scored first and created a number of half chances but didn't create as many clear goal scoring opportunities as we should have from the positions we got the ball in to. They scored an equaliser from a combination of a good finish and some poor defending while some good goalkeeping, good blocks and a little bit of fortune on our part kept Rotherham to just the one goal, so I think that 1-1 was maybe a more difficult result for them to take than us.
"We're happy to build on today and will look to improve against Grimsby next week.
“We are trying to push Mansfield, who are top at the moment, and keep getting points on the board. It was good to not lose the game and we are now five games unbeaten in the league and that is obviously a good habit to get into.
“The players are really focused and wanting to do well. The first half of the season was really positive and we finished it really strongly, we just want to do well again between now and the end of the season and improve game by game as a group and individually.”
Rose’s team now travel to Everton on Tuesday to take part in a behind-closed-doors friendly with the Premier League club’s academy team before returning to Youth Alliance action on Friday when they host Grimsby Town at St George’s Park.