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Nugent delighted with Under 23s response

Manager reflects on excellent victory for his young Lions

4 February 2019

Kevin Nugent has described his young Millwall side as "disciplined" after securing a 3-0 win over Coventry City on Monday afternoon.

The young Lions bounced back from successive defeats in the Professional Development League to take a welcome win, courtesy of goals from Mason Saunders-Henry, Jiri Skalak and George Alexander.

"It was a good win. I asked them for a reaction after last week's defeat at Ipswich, and and we certainly got that today," Nugent told millwallfc.co.uk.

"We showed a lot of discipline, and some really good passages of play, so overall I'm very pleased.

"A clean sheet is what you want really. As well as the three goals, it was a good defensive performance, and it really helped to have the voice of Pearcey [Alex Pearce] in there to guide the young lads."

The Under 23 boss reiterates how important it is for his young professionals to learn from the senior players earning game time with his side, including Alex Pearce, Tom King, Skalak and Fred Onyedinma.

"It's fantastic to have the senior boys helping the younger players. Pearcey was organising when the crosses came into our box, and he got his head to every single one of them, so that's good.

"The lads like Mich'el [Parker], Rob [Harvey] and Junior [Tiensia] will watch the game back and look at Pearcey's positioning as something to go from."

Saunders-Henry hit a tremendous opener less than three minutes into the match, and operated in a central midfield role. Rob Harvey - primarily a wide midfielder - filled in at right-back against The Sky Blues and was part of the defence to keep the clean sheet.

"Mason has played more centrally before," says Nugent.

"As long as he doesn't find himself in too many duels and he can find little areas where he can turn and play, then he does well - and he scored a fantastic goal, which he has in his locker.

"We thought we'd try Rob in a right-back role today, we're short of someone in that position with James Brown and Dan McNamara out on loan, and I thought he also did well."

Nugent finally explains the decision process behind sending players away on loan spells, with several young Lions now out gaining experience during the second half of the campaign.

"We let players out on loan when we think they're ready and it can help them. Part of it is just for them to experience a different dressing room and playing in front of different crowds.

"Often with youth loans too, is that if they're not playing too much for the club they're at, they can come back and play for our Under 23s as well."


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