Byron Anthony | U18s must be better without the ball

1st May
Byron Anthony

Byron Anthony says Swansea City Under-18s must improve out of possession following their Professional Development League defeat by Sheffield Wednesday.

The young Swans were beaten 4-2 at Landore by the in-form Owls, who recorded their fourth successive victory.

Anthony’s side fell behind after Will Trueman’s long-range strike found a way through the defence before creeping in off the post.

They were then caught napping twice from well-worked set-pieces, with Alex Bonnington and Caelen Kilheeney capitalising to put the visitors 3-0 to the good before half-time.

Although the Swans improved after the break, they conceded a sloppy penalty from which Jay Glover put the result beyond doubt.

Anthony has urged his players to take their lessons on board following a second successive defeat, having lost 3-1 to Bristol City in midweek.

And the under-18s coach is specifically targeting improvement without the ball.

“I was disappointed with our performance out of possession in the first half,” he said.

Byron Anthony

“At half-time, I had a few choice words with the players because it wasn’t good enough. Since I’ve been here, it’s the first time I’ve looked at it and thought it wasn’t unacceptable. 

“We must be so resolute and relentless without the ball so that teams don’t get half a chance. Then if they do, someone must be there to put their body in the way and delay or deny them.

“We didn’t do that in the first half, and it gave us a mountain to climb. 

“Part of the players’ journey is about understanding these mistakes and rectifying them. When you show them in analysis or on the training ground, the penny must drop at some point in that regard. 

“The last few weeks, we’ve got it down to minimal mistakes and today wasn’t a true reflection of that. 

“On a positive note, we scored two goals and possibly could have had another couple. I haven’t got a problem with us on the ball; we’ve got some really nice footballers. 

“But the question is whether we do enough without the ball, which we don’t at the moment.”