Dempsey: It’s all a learning curve

Tuesday 20 December 2022 08:49

Manchester United Under-21s were defeated 2-0 by PSV Eindhoven in the Premier League International Cup at Leigh Sports Village on Monday evening (19 December).

The Reds had opportunities to score in both halves, but the visitors were more clinical, seizing their opportunities and, ultimately, taking three points away from the group fixture.

After the match, coach Mark Dempsey says that, while he thought his side deserved something from the game and have to be more ruthless, he is seeing signs of progress from the players.

U21s highlights: United v PSV Eindhoven Video

U21s highlights: United v PSV Eindhoven

Watch the key moments and reaction from our Under-21s' Premier League International Cup fixture against PSV Eindhoven...

“They [PSV] started the game really well,” he explained in a post-match interview with MUTV.

“The first 15 minutes, we looked a bit tentative, a little bit heavy in our legs and then I thought we really came into the game, [and] dominated the midfield. I thought our midfield three dominated the game, got in little pockets really well, and we started to cause threats down the wide areas.

“[We] created a couple of really gilt-edged chances that unfortunately didn’t hit the back of the net. At this level, at any level, you’ve got to score. You’ve got to take those chances.

“Second half, again, we lose possession cheaply and they score. I think on the chances created and on the balance of the play, we were unfortunate to come off on the wrong side of a 2-0 defeat.”

Dempsey was understandably disappointed to fall to a defeat, just under a week after the young Reds were eliminated from the Papa Johns Trophy by League One side Bolton Wanderers.

But despite the recent results, the Academy coach maintains that the progress the players are making is good to see.

“It’s all a learning curve at this level,” he explained. “We are looking for players to improve and we’re seeing players improve, so that’s really important to us. 

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“But, as I say, and I’ve said it all season, a little bit more precision and desire and will to score a goal has let us down on a few occasions now.

“I think [against] Monaco at Old Trafford, they were the better team, but, other than that, we’ve been in most games. We’ve had a couple of heavy defeats but, as I said earlier in the season, generally the balance of our play has been good in possession.

“But we haven’t been clinical enough and taken the chances that have been offered in games. We’ll learn from that, but, as I say, I couldn’t have asked much more from them in terms of effort and application [tonight].”