Millers youngsters fall to defeat in all-South Yorkshire clash...
Rotherham United Lead Professional Phase Coach Ciaran Toner was full of praise for his side, despite them tasting a 1-0 defeat in Saturday’s South Yorkshire showdown with Doncaster Rovers in the Youth Alliance League.
The Millers youngsters fell to the narrowest of margins at Roundwood, where a well-worked Rovers team goal proved to be the difference, but Toner was unmoved by the final scoreline as he admitted that there were numerous positives to take from the weekend’s game.
“It was a good goal from Doncaster really and a good break from them which saw them slide in a nice through ball which they scored from,” he explained.
“I was really pleased with a lot of what we did and I thought some of our decision making to be brave in possession and try to develop under pressure was excellent, rather than us reverting to the type of just getting rid of the ball.
“We had chances in the game and I'm not too concerned about the result, but of course we want to have that winning mentality. The lads did, they wanted to win and created chances to score and were unlucky a few times.”
Toner continued to express his delight at the performance of defender Jake Southern-Cooper, who he believes excelled again in the game against Rovers, while there was also chance to get a glimpse of some of the club’s younger players in action in the Youth Alliance League.
“The application was there to win the game and that's the most important thing but there were some really good performances and Jake Southern-Cooper was outstanding again,” he continued.
“He's consistently achieving those high levels and it's a challenge for him to maintain that.
“We also managed to get three Under 16s on the pitch, who performed well and we exposed them to an environment that they'll be looking at next season.”
The Academy coach has now called upon his players to continue to hit those levels of performance, admitting that despite the defeat, he was pleased with the home clash with Doncaster overall.
“We always want the lads to put pressure on themselves to perform because ultimately the higher up they go, the more consistently good they have to be,” Toner explained.
“If we can expose them to that in what I'd class as a semi-comfortable environment then that's what we want to do.
“With all of that in mind, we have to be pleased with the opportunity that was given to us to be able to do that.”
Millers | Farrar, Atherton, Hinds, Carlton, Southern Cooper, Johnson (Hull 69), Martin, Osborne (Gratton 77), James, Murr, Hutchinson (Diouf 62).
Unused | Beeden.