GRAEME MURTY was delighted to start the Florida Cup with a positive 1-0 victory over Brazilian side Atlético Mineiro at the Orlando City Stadium this evening.
The manager changed 10 outfield players at the break to give his squad important game time and Josh Windass’ excellent strike on 68 minutes was enough to give the Light Blues a deserved win.
Murty said: “Parts of it were really pleasing, parts of our up tempo stuff was good, parts of our press was good and part of our clarity of message was good.
“There are obviously things we can do better and things we can improve on in terms of securing the football at times in quite poor areas.
“I want the players to play, I want them to be brave enough to play into midfield but we need to be better at it.
“I thought when we played with a tempo and with one or two touches we got some really good penetration, we got really good runners off the ball.
The goal was excellent and I thought with a little bit more composure and quality in the final third we could have had more.”
Murty believes tonight’s game was positive on a number of levels for the squad with Jamie Murphy and Sean Goss impressing on their first starts and teenagers Jamie Barjonas, Aidan Wilson and Serge Atakayi all getting more first-team action under their belts.
The manager added: “Well it’s great for us because there are people challenging and bringing someone like Jamie Murphy in, it might light the fire under some other people to actually go and exceed his level or match his level.
I think when people are hungry to perform and hungry to defend what’s theirs then you can really put good performances in and you can really elevate your level, and that’s what we are about.
“We are about strengthening the group, we are about making everything we do every day better, and I thought you saw that with the goalkeepers.
“Jak Alnwick made some really good saves and then you bring Liam Kelly on and he did really well as well.
“So we have got Wes Foderingham to come back in, he’ll start the next game, but the squad is looking good and the important part is that when things become difficult the squad stick together and they embrace challenge.
“I thought they did that today in very humid conditions which some of our guys aren’t used to, but it was a very valuable workout.
“I’m pleased for them as well that after all the hard work they managed to get the win.”