Robbo: “The game is about enthusiasm”

City assistant lauds young starlets after Blackburn scalp

Following the 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers at St James Park on Tuesday in the Under-21 Premier League Cup, Grecians assistant manager Rob Edwards praised the infectious enthusiasm of the youngsters.

City’s young squad was padded out by overage players in the form of David Wheeler and Scot Bennett (both aged 23) and Jimmy Keohane (22), and following Wednesday afternoon’s draw, Burnley will provide the quarter-final opposition at St James Park.

And Edwards revealed that the young group were a pleasure to work with and were a coach’s dream.

“This is a great group and they don’t take much managing,” said Robbo.  “The game is about enthusiasm and running around, and not getting down when you make a mistake.  You see players like Jake Gosling and David Wheeler that just want to play.

“I’m a lucky person to be working with such a talented group of players.

“They’ve come through the ranks at the club, and it’s a fantastic club for them to come through.  If they get to the level where they’re good enough to play, they’ll play.  At some clubs, you never get a chance because the club is continually bringing players in.

“They’re playing with their mates here.  They’ve been together for a long time and some have known each other since they were under-14s.  So to take on teams like Blackburn and Southampton is great for them.”

City controlled vast swathes of the game against Rovers and Rob was pleased to see such character – in particular because they went into half-time trailing 1-0.  Scot Bennett and Jimmy Keohane turned the tie on its head early after the break.

“I thought we might find it difficult in the second half in terms of possession as we were a goal down, but we dominated possession and the players turned that into chances in the first half an hour of the second half,” he said.

“Some of the performances were top class.  I know Tom Nichols is in the first team at the moment, but to have the desire and work-rate that he did was exceptional.  All through the team the players were good.”