U21 Thoughts: Hewitson on Cardiff contest

John Hewitson has given his thoughts ahead of SAFC U21s’ hosting of Cardiff City on Monday night in the Premier League Cup.


The third group stage game against the Bluebirds at Eppleton is a chance to register points on the board in Group H.


“The boys have responded well and were unlucky not to get something out of the game at Wolves on Monday,” the Assistant U21 Coach said.


“I wouldn’t say they’ve been to negative, rather just picking out the positives, getting better individually and collectively to make sure we give a good account of ourselves.


“We controlled possession and used the ball well at Wolves, but they had a bit of a rally in the second half which made it a bit scrappier. Certainly in the first half we threatened but just couldn’t quite get it right in the final third.”


Hewitson also explained that there is a priority at U21 level to focus closer to home than to overplay on a potentially unknown quantity in terms of how opponents may set up.


This is also demonstrated by the fact that supporters can expect to see several changes to Graeme Murty’s line-up against the side from South Wales.


“There’s always a case that we’ll look at the opposition and we’ll get a general viewpoint on them, but the circumstances in U21 football are that team shape and personnel can often change a lot.


“We have to ensure we focus on ourselves, make sure we’re organised in how we want to play. Sometimes it can be a bit reactive on the day, but we just have to ensure we have the right things in place which we’re happy with.


“A few players will be rotated – some boys that didn’t play in the last game will get their opportunity on Monday night, and it’s up to them to step up, be accountable and put themselves in the best light for the next game. That will be the best way to shape them for senior football.”

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