Kevin Nugent has lauded the never-say-die attitude of his Millwall Under 23 players after battling back to a 1-1 draw at The Den against Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday afternoon in the Professional Development League.
George Alexander’s 94th-minute header secured a point for Nugent’s young Lions in the Professional Development League, after the visitors took a first-half lead through Oliver Finney.
“I thought it was a really tight game with two sides that were at it,” the Under 23 manager told millwallfc.co.uk.
“Unfortunately, we made a bit of an error in the first half that we conceded from, which is a learning process for our defenders, but we kept the pressure on and I thought we were better in the second half.
“And because we kept going, young George stepped up and got the equaliser with one of the last touches of the game.”
Nugent says the regular rotation of the team due to first-team fitness and youngsters departing on loan means consistency is a challenge, having claimed four points from the last three games. He also notes how much of a well-recognised youth system there has always been in place at visitors Crewe.
“The team is always changing depending on players available and who need minutes. Last week we beat Watford and put in a great performance, but sometimes with young players the target is consistency.
“We haven’t quite got that at the moment which is partly because of the changes in the team – we have lads out on loan, and coming in and out of the side – but the attitude of the players was fantastic to keep going right to the death, and claw back level.
“Crewe are a club renowned for having some good young players coming through. They play a certain style, and I thought it was a really good test for both sides.”
A number of first-team players featured at The Den for the contest, including Aiden O’Brien, Tom Elliott and Conor McLaughlin.
“The first-teamers will always add to our group,” said Nugent.
“It has to be taken into account that it’s different for those lads when they come into these games in near-empty stadiums, but their attitude was fantastic and they did well.
“We’ve got a few games left now, and we’ll be going out aiming to win every game. If we can add a few more goals to our game and be more creative going forward then that would be great, but obviously the platform for that is clean sheets and our defensive record.”