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Nugent commends effort of young Lions after Charlton battle

Under 23 boss discusses the local derby meeting as Millwall are edged out at The Valley

2 April 2019

Kevin Nugent claims that whilst he does hold some disappointment after Millwall Under 23s' 2-1 defeat to Charlton Athletic at The Valley on Tuesday afternoon, it is mainly borne out of how determined his players were throughout the game.

A George Lapslie double secured the three points for Jason Euell's Addicks in the Professional Development League meeting, with Tom Elliott's finish levelling for The Lions in the second half.

"I'm disappointed with the defeat, especially as in the second half - especially for 25 minutes of it - we were excellent," Nugent says.

"We equalised in that period and we looked to try and keep the pressure on, but we kind of moved away from what was getting us success.

"The lads put in a great effort, but unfortunately we just couldn't quite get something out of it."

The Under 23 boss again acknowledges the challenges faced by the routine rotation of available players in his side, and analyses how he set up his team.

"Sometimes it can be difficult with the Under 23s as different players are always coming in and out, which means you have to adapt to different styles at times as well.

"At half-time, we just clarified as a team what we needed in this situation, which was to play off of and use Tom Elliott's aerial strength. That was the key point really to the second-half display.

"Charlton then gradually grew into it. Overall, I thought we had more final third entries, but they had the young lad George Lapslie who drifts off the back of midfielders very well."

Goalscorer Elliott was one of a handful of featured first-teamers, and Nugent gives his praise to the striker as well as U18 full-back Junior Tiensia - one of eight players to recently be offered professional contracts at The Den.

"It's great to see big Tom score the goal - everyone sees the effort he puts in during every game, so he was the pinnacle in how we tried to play today. The first-team boys always perform and give a great attitude.

"It was a great test for Junior [Tiensia] today too, up against a very tricky player in Mark Marshall on our left-hand side.

"Obviously you want the results from these games, but you're also looking for tests of individuals and it's really pleasing to see some of these young lads getting that chance here."

 


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