First league defeat followed by Cup success has Shakers Youth on song
Ryan Kidd’s Youth team lost their first League game of the season at the weekend with a 1-0 defeat at Blackpool, however, they were quickly back on track in the Lancashire FA Youth Cup on Tuesday morning with a 2-1 victory over Burnley at Carrington. Goals from Callum Styles and an eleventh goal of the season for Rob Harker saw the young Shakers advance to the next round. Following the game, we put a series of questions to Ryan Kidd following the cup success.
Q. A disappointing result from Saturday’s game against Blackpool, would you say it left you frustrated?
I wasn’t frustrated, frustrated means that you probably deserve something from the game but you didn’t quite get it. I was more annoyed with the lad’s performance and work rate. I think we got away quite lightly with a 1-0 defeat, Blackpool were very good on the day.
Q. You made comments from the side line such as “They’re not talking to each other” – do you think there was a lack of communication on the pitch?
Yes, we’ve had this with this group this year. We don’t seem to have any leaders, compared to what we had last year. I could have chosen four or five captains last year, whereas, this year, I have struggled to name a captain. So voices on the pitch at the moment are a problem, communication is a problem, but, sometimes, it’s the modern day kid, growing up these days, there is so much social media, everybody is on their phones, and not communicating as well as they should do – maybe there is an element of that as well.
Q. It seemed, from the side line, that the lads weren’t following through and committing to their tackles/headers. Is there a lack of aggression?
There definitely was on Saturday, I think this year we’ve had a mixture. We have had a couple of really positive games, some half decent games, and a couple of poor performances. I have got to understand as well, I have a young group this year and, predominantly, it feels like I am starting again, and I’m still really going off what we have had the last two years, as we have had very strong characters, aggressive approach to our games and, this year, we’re not quite at that level, yet, but we will be.
Q. After the defeat from Blackpool, do you think that the atmosphere and the boys’ mentality have changed?
With video analysis now, we reflected on the game yesterday. It was a lot poorer than I initially thought, on the day as well. Blackpool could have scored a lot of goals against us. With the benefit of watching that, we have gone into today’s game, where I was really looking for a response in terms of work rate, commitment, and aggression. It did improve slightly, but still not where I want it to be.
Q. How would you describe your 2-1 win against Burnley F.C.?
It’s a cup game, we needed to beat Burnley. I believe they were slightly under strength; we’ve still got a couple of players missing. We won 2-1 but we made hand work of it. If we had taken our chances in the first half, I think we could have gone in three or four up and put the game to bed. There are still things there that we need a lot of work on; there are still things that are not making me quite happy at the moment. I’ve just told the lads that it is very hard to become a professional footballer. I think they see the first team and they think that they are not far off it but, in terms of work rate and mentality, towards the job, some of them have a long way to go.
Q. Do you think that leadership was shown today by captain Cameron McCulloch?
Cameron seemed the most vocal; he has only come into the group six or seven weeks ago. He has more of a voice than some of the other lads so, at the moment, I am passing the armband round to everybody to see if I can actually find somebody who wants to talk and communicate. I thought he was probably one of the better ones out of the few lads that we have had. This is a problem I have got as a coach, finding somebody who can really take the ownership of being a captain and a leader.
Q. What did you make of Rob Harker’s free kick/goal?
Well, that’s Rob Harker for you. At the moment he is guaranteeing us virtually a goal a game. His free kick was of a professional standard, it hit the back of the net like a rocket. His contribution, during the game, though wasn’t what I wanted it to be. He will be going home thinking he has done well, because he scored a winning goal, and I want him to feel confident about scoring goals but he knows he still has a lot of work to do. However, he is still only sixteen; he’s got a great frame about him, and size, so I am hoping, in two year’s time, when we have finished working with him that we have got somebody who can compete for a first team contract.
Q. Joe Adams and Callum Styles seemed to create more, would you say these two stood out to you during this match?
Yes, we got Styles’ in towards the end of last season from Burnley. He’s produced some quality today on his strike, so he got a goal. He has been injured for the last 10 days or so and, I think, this showed towards the end of the game. I think we can get more from him though. I think we can help get him more goals, and more forward running.
Joe Adams is an under-16 who, the moment, is exciting us, I believe he has earned his shirt. In terms of some of the wide lads, who we have at the moment, who aren’t performing as I would like them to, it’s only right that I give Joe a chance. He played on Saturday and found it tough against Blackpool but he’s come in today and done really well. I’ve got competition for places which I, as a coach, really enjoy and which I didn’t have last year. So, if you’re not performing, it’s just like the first team and the player will find himself on the bench. That’s the added bonus this year. I’ve got numbers and I’ve got lads waiting to come in and fight for the jersey.
With thanks to Ryan Kidd for his time.