Neil Ross’ post-match reaction vs Huddersfield Amateurs: “They won’t have the time on the ball”

Neil Ross refused to blame the change in system, rather questioning his U23s’ players’ mentality for the 5-1 defeat to Huddersfield Amateurs in their second pre-season friendly on Wednesday.

A back five was forced into a back four due to a late withdrawal, adding to the already numerous absentees such as captain Keanan Mannings and recent first-team experienced Mitchell Fox.

“Somebody pulled out this afternoon so it was just a case of looking at what we had. Obviously there’s players still to come in, Ben Henderson, he let me know late that he was available but it was too late. He’ll be involved on Monday.

“This squads only been together for two weeks now so it’s going to take time for them to get to know each other.

“I don’t think it really had an effect. The mentality I think, going out thinking they’re going to win a game and you can’t do that. You’ve got to earn the right to win a game and they [Huddersfield] came out and bossed it for the first-half.

“I think the first-half really. Poor all round. Players not working hard enough, getting run off the ball, not good enough in possession, too many players blaming each other, like an u12s game at one point ‘it’s your fault’, ‘no it’s your fault’ – just all round awful.

“Second-half I thought we were better on the ball, a lot more energy, I think Duncan did really well in there, Moussa and Wilfred, when they came on they changed the game for us, they gave us that width, danger down the sides”.

Huddersfield Amateurs 1st team provided a tough physical battle, according to Ross, beneficial for his Academy players who he says “need to learn quick”.

“They won’t have the time on the ball like they would against Academy teams.

“It’s another game against a mens team so the physical side of it is really important for them. They’re not really going to come up against this kind of opposition where they’re just going to battle you and go through you so it’s a learning curve for the young lads. I mean, what, four 16/17 year-olds in there playing against grown men so it’s going to take time for them but they’ve got to learn quickly.

The u23s play again Monday and Ross is hopeful to return to his favoured back-five system as long as he has enough players return, also.

“I’d prefer to go back to the back five but’s just on personnel, who’s available or who isn’t. So it’s something I’ll have to look at over the weekend.”

The u23s visit Alwoodley on Monday during pre-season, 6:45pm kick-off.