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Nugent: “We’ve got a really good desire to perform for the badge”

Lions’ Under 23s manager reflects on victory over Watford

12 October 2018

Millwall U23 manager Kevin Nugent has commended the second half performance of his team as a double from Tom Bradshaw secured a 2-0 victory over Watford at The Den on Friday afternoon.

Nugent’s young side have now gone seven matches unbeaten and counting in the Professional Development League South, rising to second in the division.

“It was a tough game,” Nugent states.

“I thought in the first half, possession-wise, they were fractionally better than us, and had a very good chance which it was fantastic to see Jordan Archer keeping out and keeping us in the game.

“But in the second half, I thought we came out strongly, and then Rob Harvey won us the penalty which Bradders [Tom Bradshaw] scored. Once he scored [the second], we got better from then on. I think we did begin to [take control]. As I say, the first half was very tight, but then the lads gained confidence after we scored, which is always good.”

The Under 23s boss highlighted the way the team have defended this season, having only conceded six in nine games – the best defensive record in the League.

“We’re hard to play against at the back. We’ve got some very good players.

“Obviously we had Hutch [Shaun Hutchinson] in there in the first half – it’s always great to have lads like that in the team, also helping the younger ones through.

“A clean sheet comes from the whole team, but defensively we look strong both individually and as a unit.”

Nugent has been immensely satisfied with the way the team has progressed, following two opening defeats with the tremendous recent run.

“At the start of the season it can be quite difficult in the Under 23s as we can have players in on trial, we can be mixing and matching, and now we have a settled group.

“That could change if lads step up to the first team or go out on loan, so it’s constantly evolving, but one thing we’re finding with the team now is that we’ve got a really good desire to win and perform for the badge.

“It’s great for the lads, and they’re buying into it at the moment.”

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