Still A Long Way To Go For Under 21s
A killer instinct needs to be instilled in the Under 21s to make sure they do not get appluaded for their skill but miss out on the finals A disappointed Billy Stark finally made his way to the press room at St Mirren Park tonight after watching his under 21 charges held to a 0-0 draw by Bulgaria. He usually can be relied upon to offer some words within around 5 minutes of the final whistle tonight it was a good 20 minutes before he took a seat and addressed the assembled throng. He must have been consoling his players who looked to have controlled of the game apart from getting goals. He said: "Bulgaria had enough quality to show that they could hurt us on the counter attack and that puts a big pressure on player’s concentration and mentality when having to push forward then when you lose possession of the ball they break quickly. We had tired legs towards the end of the game and I’m pleased about the fact that we were really resilient and that we stuck at it, and in some difficult defensive situations we handled them reasonably well. I think we had a couple of good chances in a first half of real quality so when you look at it from that point of view there were some good pieces of play when we upped the tempo but our tempo could have been a bit better." When asked if it was too early in the campaign to let his head drop, Stark went on: "We aren’t despondent but in this group. My feeling is that everyone is capable of beating each other, you know Holland found it difficult in Bulgaria with a late goal but I think when Austria come into the mix they are all winnable and losable games so maybe Holland won’t be the overall favourites that many think they will be. Scott Allan’s performance was a big positive tonight. The way they set up we relied on him to be the creator and he worked some good positions with his good feet and ability, and he was instrumental in anything we had going forward in the second half. I don’t remember Bulgaria having a chance of note in the first half but I was pleased with our effort at the back to prevent us from losing a goal. It’s a clean sheet against good opposition and we never quite made the most of the few good chances we had."
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