THE ACADEMY

30/03/2009 09:19, Report by Ben Hibbs

Coach laments lost lead

Paul McGuinness feels his U18s could have coped better with windy weather and Sheffield Wednesday's spirited fight-back, after surrendering a strong lead.

Defender Scott Moffatt and attacker Nicky Ajose put the Reds 2-0 ahead after 22 minutes away to Wednesday. But with the wind behind the home team in the second half, United let the advantage slip.

"It's been like quite a few of our games recently," McGuinness told MUTV. "We played a lot of good football, but it wasn't sustained throughout the whole match. In the first half we played some terrific stuff, passing through the lines in their midfield, dominating play and pushing Sheffield Wednesday into their own half.

"There were a few really nice moves and we followed that up with goals, which put us in the driving seat. That was with the wind behind, although that didn't have much of an effect on the game, it was more in the second half that it really played a part - they had the wind in their favour and we didn't cope well with that."

United conceded from a corner just before half time, then again after the break, ending with a 2-2 stalemate. "It was basic defending that allowed them back into the game," McGuinness explained. "We allowed the ball to bounce, made poor clearances and mis-timed headers.

"That affeced the rest of the team and we didn't know how get it back in our favour. Players got caught out of position. We needed to regain the team shape, be organised and demand that those players who roam about sometimes get back into position. We needed a more professional outlook, and that's the learning process. If we'd have shut them out, we'd have won the game after half time."

OFFICIAL PARTNERS

Premier League