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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

U21s: Wheeler Disappointed With Outcome

DEFENDER Elliot Wheeler felt the Under-21s should have come away with all three points from their contest with Manchester City on Friday evening in the Barclays U21 Premier League.

The development squad were unable to convert their chances in front of goal after dominating the game for long periods and were stung by Devante Cole's late strike.

The former Portsmouth right-back couldn't understand how the side didn't leave Manchester with the win after being the better side.

"I thought we pressed them really well, particularly in the first half and got a lot of joy out of it, Wheeler said. "We created quite a few chances to open the scoring but in the end we couldn't take them which was disappointing because we were the dominate side throughout.

"I felt when they went down to ten men with just over a quarter of the match to play we could have really pushed on and won the game but we didn't take advantage of it as much as we would have liked.

"In the end a bit of sloppy defending in difficult conditions cost us which was really frustrating because we deserved to win the game."

The 20-year-old highlighted James Alabi's first half penalty miss as his side's best opportunity but said that the powerful forward shouldn't feel too down heartened.

"Obviously James probably had our best chance of the game with the penalty, but I suppose it's just one of those things really because any player can miss them just as the Manchester City captain also showed on the night," he said.

"As a group of players we will make sure he doesn't dwell on it too much because he will no doubt get further chances in the future and convert them."

Meanwhile, Wheeler's recent performances for the Under-21s have seen him rewarded with a first team squad number and the opportunity to be involved with the senior side on a match day.

The youngster admits he was pleased to link up with Mark Hughes' squad for two of their recent away trips and work with the likes of Geoff Cameron who is set to represent his country at the World Cup in the summer.

"I just got told on the day that the team were travelling to the hotel for the FA Cup game against Chelsea which was great news to hear, and then again for the Premier League match at Sunderland," he revealed.

"It was fantastic to have the chance to learn from players like Geoff in training and on a match day because you can get to see how certain things are done at first team level.

"The whole experience was a great and hopefully by continuing to play well for the development squad I will get further opportunities to link up with them again."

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