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Coach pleased with effort in narrow loss

26 September 2018

Senior professional development coach Richard Cooper has praised his reserves’ ‘energy’ and ‘endeavour,’ after they were narrowly beaten 3-2 by a strong Morecambe side at Globe Arena yesterday afternoon.

Forward Iyrwah Gooden scored both goals for the Stags in the second-half of a game that saw long-term absentees Teddy Bloor and Henri Wilder return to action.

Cooper says he was disappointed with the manner of which the Stags conceded their goals, but spoke highly of the effort that his players gave in the match.

“We got ourselves back into it at 1-1 just after half-time,” he said. “Iyrwah [Gooden] scored after a really good spell. Iyrwah and Nyle Blake played very well up front together.

“It was a tight game. We were disappointed with the goals we conceded. But I can’t knock the energy and the endeavour.”

Richard Cooper, senior professional development coach

“A little bit of naivety defending from a corner has probably cost us. Then they scored a third on the break. Iyrwah’s scored again to get us back into it after Tyrese Sinclair put a great ball in.

“It was a tight game. We were disappointed with the goals we conceded. But I can’t knock the energy and the endeavour.”

The Central League clash saw a debut reserves’ appearance for 16-year-old defender Jordan Armsden, who Cooper says was ‘impressive’ against several senior Morecambe players.

“We had Jordan Armsden, who is a 16-year-old, at centre-half making more or less his reserve debut and he was absolutely outstanding.

“He’s a young kid and was playing against four or five senior players. We had mainly young lads playing so it was great for them.

“Without the ball we have a lot to learn in terms of [how to deal with] the opposition sometimes. We have to do things a little bit quicker in terms of our organisation.

“I certainly won’t criticise them after the way they went about their business in terms of attitude. But certainly Armsden in the defence at 16 years of age, he was quite impressive.

“Playing against senior players, we have to get our levels up to match theirs. It was a good game for us but unfortunately, it was one of those where you are not happy with the goals. But there have been some good individual performances.”

Stags’ reserves are next in action on Tuesday 16 October against Grimsby reserves, yet Cooper says there is plenty to work on in the weeks leading up to the fixture.

“We have got a little gap [until our next game] now. We are due to play a behind-closed-doors game on Thursday, so we may have to look at [arranging] something like that [another game] in the next week or so.

“At the moment I think we need to look at our defensive work. We need to cut out the little mistakes and look at the basics, really.

“We need to make good decisions when we are in charge of the ball. There’s always something to improve on, but there was plenty of pleasing stuff in terms of the players’ effort and how they attacked the game. They are real positives.”

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