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Nugent: "The young lads rose to the challenge"

U23 boss delighted after Ipswich victory

26 November 2018

Kevin Nugent says his U23 side "rose to the challenge" on Monday afternoon after claiming three points against Ipswich Town in the Professional Development League.

Nugent's young Lions came out on top against the League leaders at Calmont Road through second-half goals from Jesse Debrah and Isaac Olaofe, and says there were numerous impressive displays.

"The lads absolutely rose to it today," Nugent states.

"I thought there were some fine individual performances, and collectively as well - it all came together this afternoon.

"We've had a couple of disappointing games recently, but you get that sometimes with the young lads and they're learning about getting that consistency, and competing early on, which is what they did today."

The U23 manager says he is looking at how the young players respond in different game situations, and credits the way they stepped up against an Ipswich side containing several senior squad members.

"Everything is a challenge for these lads. We're always looking to see how they cope with different scenarios, and today they played against a top side with some very good players.

"We'd had a little dip, but they certainly rose to the challenge today."

Nugent emphasises the importance of the 'basics' for the side - claiming this will help with their consistency.

"We have some very good young players here. One of the big things we look to do is nail down the basics.

"It's great for Jesse that he scored today, but more important to him as a defender is that we kept the clean sheet and he worked very well.

"When the lads have the consistency and the basics, they always have half a chance."

U18 players George Alexander and Besart Topalloj started the match for The Lions, and Nugent is happy with the progress they are making.

"The younger boys have done very well. George [Alexander] played 90 minutes on Saturday and then again here today, and young Bes has come in today and performed - he's a very versatile player.

"They have a bit of physical development still to come, but they do the basics well and have impressed this season."

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