Wood: Amad showed unbelievable quality
Manchester United Under-23s manager Neil Wood believes Amad has “unbelievable” talent after the Ivorian winger scored twice for the side in Saturday’s 3-2 win against Leeds United.
Amad picked up an injury in the summer which ruled him out of the first couple of months of the season, but after returning to first team training in mid-October, he’s now completing full games for the Under-23s.
The 19-year-old had opened the scoring early on for United at Leigh Sports Village but the Reds needed another from Charlie McNeill after Leeds levelled. The Yorkshire boys eventually found another equaliser, midway through the second half, and it required a bit of individual brilliance from Amad at the end to secure the win for United.
Wood was delighted with the goal but was also quick to emphasise his wider contribution to the team.
“There’s not many players on the pitch who could have done what he did, flicked it over the lad’s head and brought it back down and took it on his right foot and finish,” Wood told MUTV.
“He’s an intelligent player, very comfortable with the ball at his feet and he also works for the group.
“He comes down here, works and helps the team. He was brilliant. The little glimpses of excellence that he shows are unbelievable.”
It was a satisfying victory for United. In last week’s Premier League 2 fixture, the Reds suffered late heartbreak when Dilan Markanday grabbed victory for Tottenham Hotspur in the 92nd-minute. United had created plenty of chances but hadn’t been able to convert enough of them.
Wood was pleased to see his side bounce back with a late winner of their own.
“We were on the receiving end of it last week,” he said.
“And even last week I thought the draw was probably the fair result last week – we played really well in periods, we had some chances and we didn’t finish them. It is nice to be on the other end of it, getting a last-minute winner, and especially with the level of quality it was scored with.
“I thought we played some good football at times. Leeds were dangerous. I thought they were a good team, so we had to defend properly, defend hard; there was a lot of movement coming from their front players.
“We knew we were cutting them open. There were a lot of spaces in the first half where we were playing good football and created some good chances to cut them open.
“We knew we could do that again in the second half and, similar to last week’s game, where we didn’t really capitalise and take our chances. And then you see Amad at the end there, he put a little bit of quality at the end to seal the win.”
Wood further explained that United sought to exploit the frailties of Leeds’ man-to-man marking system.
“We played with a bit of patience,” he said.
“We knew that once one mistake happened, it [their defence] folded a bit, the spaces became open. You saw that in the very first goal; Amad goes through and he scores. Charlie McNeill took his goal well [too].”
United now have a break as players head off to join their international squads. For a full round-up of this week’s Academy news, check out ManUtd.com or our Official App for Academy Weekly on Tuesday morning.