Cameron Toshack | Youthful U23s line-up deserve credit

4th November 2019
Cameron Toshack 16x9

Swansea City Under-23s coach Cameron Toshack believes his young players deserve credit for their efforts in yesterday’s 4-2 defeat by West Ham United.

Although they took an early lead through Liam Cullen, the young Swans came unstuck against the sheer quality of the Premier League 2 Division 2 table-toppers at Landore.

Nathan Holland scored twice while Dan Kemp and 13-goal Anthony Scully completed the turnaround and moved West Ham six points clear at the summit following their ninth win from 10 games.

Despite the result, it was another game of great progress for the development side, with the matchday squad consisting of 14 teenagers.

They included five under-18s players as well as under-16s midfielder Josh Edwards, who became the first 15-year-old to appear for the under-23s.

And Toshack was generally pleased with the way his youthful squad stood up to the tough assignment.

“In a competitive league where West Ham are running away with it at the moment, this was probably the toughest challenge we could have asked for,” the under-23s coach said.

“In fairness to the players – particularly in the first half – they applied themselves very well and executed the game plan excellently.

“They showed that they understand what they must do to make it difficult for opponents, whilst also taking advantage of certain moments. That will have pleased a lot of academy staff because it’s an important part of the modern-day footballer. 

“In the second half, West Ham controlled the ball a little bit better than they did in the first. They stepped up a gear while we couldn’t quite sustain our levels. We let the game drift away from us instead of holding on and showing a little bit of individual grit. 

“They have three or four really good players and, in the end, their quality showed.

“But overall, I thought there were a lot more positives than the scoreline would indicate.

“The players deserve a lot of credit. It’s now about them showing how quickly they can learn from these experiences. But they have to be given the opportunity to feel how difficult it is in order to push on.”