Cardiff City’s U23 coach Jarred Harvey spoke to cardiffcityfc.co.uk following their second game of the Professional Development League Two campaign. A 2-0 victory over Barnsley at Cardiff International Sports Campus secured the young Bluebirds’ opening three points of the season.
“It was a difficult game to start with,” began Jarred. “We played differently and changed the formation because we wanted to look at a couple of players. One or two boys played in different positions and I don’t think the changes were too difficult in terms of the game.
“First-half, we didn’t look to play enough and looked a little bit disjointed, but I felt in the second-half when Jacob Evans and Jamie Veale came into the equation, they started getting on the ball and kept us higher up the pitch.
“I thought there was only one team in it and I know they went down to ten men. That was disappointing for them but it was a bad tackle and he could’ve gone earlier than that. Even before the sending off, we were getting half chances and I thought it was only a matter of time before we scored.
“The boys showed good professionalism and defended really well. Ciaron Brown and Matthew Connolly were excellent defensively. Then when Veale and Evans came on, they were excellent and I thought their attitude was superb. They both played really well last week at Turf Moor and to be left out today was disappointing for them. Although, that’s because we needed to look at a few boys and Trialists. We’ve done that now. We’ve looked at the boys we wanted to and can now make decisions on them.
“First Team players are always going to be influential. It’s a difficult one but that’s U23 football for you. We went to Turf Moor last week with an U23 squad and trialists, playing against First Team players and then we came home to four First Team players in our squad. It happens, and I think that’s what the beauty of it is. Especially for the younger players to have that opportunity to challenge themselves against First Team players and play with them.”
21-year-old Paul McKay played a midfield role in City’s comfortable victory and gave his thoughts on the game, adding: “It was good to get the result at the end of it. I know they went down to ten men but I thought in the second-half we played well. First-half, it took us a while to get into the game and obviously the red card changed the match. Second-half with the substitutes, we changed shape and I think that helped. We did well.
“I played in midfield a couple of times in Cornwall and Jarred was looking at me there. It’s good experience to play in a range of roles."
He concluded: “It’s good when First Team players drop down to play with us. We get a bit of their experience and I think the quality goes up as well, so it’s always enjoyable for us to play beside them. We do bits and bobs in training with them on a Thursday so it’s important to get that contact with them and see that pathway.”