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Molloy Hails Third Staight Floodlit Cup Win for U16s

19 November 2017

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Academy coach Darren Molloy has reflected upon the impressive performance the players put in against Barnsley and also looked ahead to new challenges, with an intriguing game against an England U18 Women's side to come.

The U16s defeated Barnsley 3-1 on Thursday night thanks to goals from Will Russ, Josh Turner and Javanne Smith, as they achieved their second win over the Tykes this season.

Molloy said: "The lads did really well again. Barnsley are a strong team, they showed that the first time and obviously the challenge for our boys was after beating them the first time around they would be up for it. Thankfully we had a good approach.

"We went 1-0 up and then they scored to make it 1-1 and then obviously we got back in front and consolidated it with a third and saw out the game."

Molloy also had his say on the team's mentality, as they were able to put aside Barnsley's equalising goal to go on to win. "They've got a great attitude, in training and games. I don't think conceding would have put them off. Obviously, it's disappointing and frustrating but one thing I have been quite on them about is mentality.

"We believe that's a massive part to the game here, so we always say we'll keep pushing. If we're 1-0 down or we're 6-0 up it's always the same - we keep looking for goals - we keep playing and we keep that high intensity," he commented.

The scorers for Molloy's side on Thursday have all been impressive this season and he was quick to highlight Smith's strike: "Jevanne's in particular was a really well taken goal but everybody had a really good game in the team,” he added.

Meanwhile, Molloy was full of praise for Russ, who has been having an impact across the age groups this campaign, also featuring in youth team manager Miguel Llera's plans.

Molloy added: "When he gets the chance to step up it's important that he embraces it and doesn't shy away.

"His attributes lead him to be capable. He's a good size, he's strong, he's rapidly quick and he's a handful regardless of what age he plays at."

For the U16s the next couple of weeks are a hugely busy period with things kicking off with an England Women's game and climaxing with potential scholarships.

Molloy shared his thoughts on the intriguing clash against a women's team. "It's a great experience and a great opportunity for them to play against a national team so it's one I'm sure the boys are excited about."

However, he knows that his players will have to find the right mentality and approach during what will be a very different proposition from what they are used to.

"I'm very curious to see how they can deal with it. To go there with the same mentality of how we play and do what we do and just keep embracing the challenges that are put in front," Molloy explained.

The day for scholarships to be determined is fast approaching, with just under a month remaining until the players find out whether they've done enough to earn one.

"They will all find out on December 12th," he stated.

"It's quite positive in terms of what we're thinking at the minute, so we just keep working hard, the boys keep getting their heads down, keep doing what they're doing and hopefully positive things come for all of them," Molloy asserted.

Between that time however, they also have the Floodlit Cup and their normal league programme to look forward to.

"We've got Derby on December 5 in the Floodlit Cup and we're waiting for Sheffield Wednesday to confirm the date for the second game with them, so it's a busy couple of weeks finishing off with them finding out who exactly is getting scholarships," Molloy revealed.

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