GRAEME MURTY was pleased with the way his side adapted as they beat Fleetwood Under-23’s 2-0 at their Poolfoot Farm training ground this afternoon.
The squad was made up of a mix of young and experienced players and the Development head coach was happy with how they handled themselves against their opponents.
He said: “It was a very very good test. People dropped in from the first team to give them minutes and our young people to go and test themselves against older opponents again and I thought they handled the test really well.
“We have blended some youth and experience really really well and we have come out with a good performance and a good result.
“It is an adaptation because you don’t get time to work together because as I said they are not really a team but what we do have is players who can take on information they understand one another really well.
“We have technically excellent players so they can deal with the ball regardless of pressure and we have got players that are turning into relentless athletes.
“They are not there yet, obviously I keep on saying it we have got some very very young ones but they are learning what it means to be tired and go again, to lose focus for a moment but to get themselves back on board and I thought they did that better than I have seen them do it.
“Particularly the younger ones, they would have real moments of quality then lose it for a moment but generally I thought they got it back really really well and that goes not just down to physicality or technique but to mindset and I thought the mindset of the players to work and to want to win the game was excellent.”
The game was goalless at half-time with two second half strikes from defenders James Maxwell and Jordan Houston.
With Rangers threatening going forward during the game, Murty felt it was ironic for two defenders to get on the score sheet.
He said: “I thought we were unlucky not to go in ahead at half-time. I said to them even though they are not a team, there are lot of individuals who have been dropped in as a group.
“They understand what we try to do, they understand the methodology and they understand the way that we want them to play and the ball speed and rotation of our players was generally very good and we just needed to apply the finishing touch.
“I thought it was quite ironic that two defenders got the goals because it looked as though Dapo or Joe or Eros or Kai or Jamie Murphy even was going to get on the end of something but we are glad that they managed to get a goal because I thought they really deserved it for their performance.”
Jack Thomson was replaced by Kai Kennedy in the first half-hour of the game after taking a knock.
Murty added: “He is fine he has got bruising on his foot it is a sore one and he did well to make it into the game.
“It is just one of those things you have to make sure you take care of the athlete and make sure that his safety and his well-being is paramount so we took him off and it gives another young player a chance to shine.
“I thought Kai Kennedy came on and done really really well but again he is a young player and handles the ball really well and makes really good decisions in possession and he added a different element to the game so although it is painful for Jack we will manage him properly and we gave another young player minutes on the pitch which are invaluable for us.