DEVELOPMENT SQUAD head coach Glyn Hodges lavished praise upon his side after they claimed all three points from their Barclays Under-21 Premier League encounter against Newcastle United on Monday afternoon.
Strikes from James Alabi, Charlie Ward, Derice Richards and an Olivier Kemen own goal secured City a 4-2 victory at the Magpies’ training centre after being pegged back to 2-2 before half time.
The 50-year-old Welshman was pleased with the performance of his team and delighted to see the squad convert their chances.
“We haven’t been that prolific this season apart from scoring five against West Bromwich Albion back in September so to score four against Newcastle away from home was really encouraging,” Hodges said.
“We’ve created a lot of chances in games this season and I work every day with the squad in terms of finishing to improve their conversion rate in front of goal.
“I’d said to them recently that I always felt that there was another four or five goal game in us because of the opportunities we’d been creating and that has proved to be the case which I’m delighted about.
“I thought we started the game really well and despite letting a two goal lead slip, I was a really pleased to see the lads react the way that they did because the team knew they were the better side on the day and just needed to deliver which is no disrespect to Newcastle.”
The former United midfielder was also quick to praise the contribution of Alabi who had returned for the game from his loan spell with Scunthorpe United, as well as Kieran Monlouis after stepping up to the Under-21s.
“James has gone to Scunthorpe on a youth loan so if in midweek they haven’t got a game and we have then he’s allowed to come and play which they are quite happy for him to do so he’s ready for them when called upon,” he revealed.
“He made a real difference to our attacking threat by scoring one and also having a number of other opportunities to grab more.
He added: “I was really pleased with Kieran Monlouis’ performance in midfield and I think it was his first 90 minutes for me this season.
“He coped superbly and looked a good player so all being well he will get the same opportunity against Chelsea and continue his development which I would be delighted to see.
The squad play their final league game of the season on Friday evening against Chelsea at the Britannia Stadium and Hodges hopes his side can secure the win to end his first season in charge on a high.
“It’s a good game to play against Chelsea at the main ground because it doesn’t get any better than that at this level,” he said.
“Hopefully by mirroring the first team style of play we can get a similar result against the Blues as they did earlier in the season.”