UNDER-21S head coach Glyn Hodges was left heartbroken on Valentine’s night after he felt his side fell to an undeserved 1-0 defeat against Manchester City in the Barclays U21 Premier League.
The Potters created a host of good chances throughout the game, including a first-half penalty miss from forward James Alabi and were ultimately punished in the final 15 minutes by Devante Cole’s strike.
The former Wales international spoke to stokecityfc.com after the game and revealed his frustration at not claiming all three points.
“I was disappointed to be perfectly honest,” Hodges said.
“We missed a penalty in the first half and two or three clear one-on-ones with the goalkeeper as well as a number of good opportunities in front of goal, so I don’t know how we haven’t won the game.
“I couldn’t quite believe that they had won ten games in a row because we should have easily beaten them so that was disappointing. I think had we taken the lead we would have comfortably gone on to win the match.
“I thought we pressed them really well and work hard off the ball because we knew Manchester City would want to pass it out from the back. We wanted to make sure it was hard for them which what we did and is how I felt we got our chances by forcing them into mistakes.
“However, it was all about getting that goal to show for our efforts which unfortunately in the end we weren’t able to do on the night and were punished.
“I said to them beforehand that it wasn’t a game for mistakes because the pitch wasn’t in great condition but we couldn’t manage it and were made to pay.”
The development squad are next in action on Friday evening when Liverpool visit the Britannia Stadium (7pm kick-off) and Hodges wants to get back to winning ways against the Merseyside outfit.
“We’d have a decent run heading into the game against Manchester City and were unfortunate not to keep it going which is hard to take,” he said.
“However, we’ve got to dust ourselves down and go again next Friday evening when we welcome Liverpool to the Britannia Stadium.
“It will be just as tough against them but I’m in no doubt that the pitch will be in good condition so hopefully we can use that to our benefit and get back on track.”