Our reserve side were beaten 2-0 by Forest Green Rovers at the Memorial Stadium today, but Marcus Stewart felt there were a number of positives to take from the game.
One of them was that a number of players were able to get a full game under their belts including striker Jamie White, whose first team games have been limited.
“It was good for Jamie, and a number of other players, to play a full game, either to prove what they can do or to get themselves fit.”
As for central defender Jose Munez, Marcus confirmed that the Spaniard has been training with the first team squad during the last week.
One player who did miss out, though, was recent signing Angelo Balanta who picked up a thigh strain in training yesterday.
“It’s disappointing, because he has looked quite bright. We always knew that he had to get himself match fit and the only way of doing that is to train hard and play games. “We aren’t sure, just yet, how long he will be out with this injury and I know that he will find it tough, both physically and mentally but he will have to pick himself up and go again.”
As for the game, Marcus was pleased with the hard working performance of the side, but admitted that some of the younger players will need to work harder to eliminate basic mistakes from their game.
“It was definitely a hard working performance and we had to be really patient at times against a very experienced Forest Green Rovers side
“I thought we applied ourselves really well and with young lads in the side you know you will get players making mistakes at times during a game.
“I’ve told them that if they are to prevent those mistakes from happening they will have to practice the basics over and over until they get them right. A striker might need shooting practice; a midfielder might need to improve his passing and a defender his heading and all of those skills have to be done at a high tempo.
“Those skills can be improved in training or for an additional twenty minutes or so after the session has finished.
“That said, I thought our players had a really good go today and I can’t fault them for their effort. All I would ask is that they continue to practice to improve the weaker elements of their game.
“I accept that they don’t get too much game time but they do get a great deal of time during training and, no matter what their position, there’s nothing wrong with them undertaking a little bit of additional training.”