U18 | Craig Bellamy: “It’s about trying to be the best in every game.”
Cardiff City’s U18 Head Coach Craig Bellamy and Bluebirds defender Ryan Reynolds spoke to cardiffcity.co.uk after their 3-1 win against Hull City in the Professional Development League Two at Cardiff International Sports Campus – extending their winning run to four consecutive games.
“I was pleased with the first twenty minutes,” began Craig. “The intensity we played at was very good and I thought both in possession and out of possession we were very good. As soon as we went two goals up we just eased off a little bit.
“At the end of the day they sat off, sat deep and were quite direct which was fine; we just needed to keep the ball better and then find the gaps to exploit. In the last 20 minutes we were very, very good at that which allowed us then to go and win the game comfortably.”
Hull City are still yet to win a league game this season, however they fielded a much stronger team than in previous weeks against the young Bluebirds on Saturday.
“This was Hull’s strongest team that they’ve had in recent weeks, due to their U23 squad taking a number of their U18 players. A lot of the games with the U18 side is more focused what we’re doing and what we are looking to do.
“The intensity that we’re looking to play at when we don’t have the ball and the intelligence to play in between the lines is always vital.
“I think we just lost our way a bit and got a little bit scrappy with that at times. We started well and ended very well. Look, there was no danger, I didn’t feel we were going to lose or concede or that but we’re better than that at times.”
Six out of the sixteen players in Saturday’s squad have been called up for Paul Bodin’s Wales U19 squad, with Rubin Colwill also called up for the U17 team.
“We always have a lot of international call-ups and a lot of our boys do go and get selected for Wales. It’s a great honour and you just hope they come back in the condition you want.
At this age group and level, they can come back tired because they aren’t used to it. We’ll address that situation when it comes, but it’s great to win four games in a row. If I’m being honest, I don’t really look at the league or anything like that. It’s just about trying to be the best you can be in every game.”
Cardiff City's Ryan Reynolds put in an excellent performance at the heart of the young Bluebirds defence. The young defender played the full 90 minutes against the Tigers and Ryan expressed his delight at clinching a fourth consecutive win, adding: “I’m really happy with our performance. Obviously, we’re disappointed to concede but it’s good to get another win and keep our winning streak going. It’s an unbelievable feeling, knowing that we’ve managed to win our first four games.
“When a team comes out to press us and we can give the ball to Sion (Spence) and Dan (Griffiths), then they know they’ve made a mistake. If those two players get space on the ball they can punish teams with their quality, and that’s just what happened.
“To go into the international break with this confidence is amazing. We’ll obviously be looking to build on our great start and keep our run going. I’m looking forward to the international break, going away to Ireland with the U19 squad and it’s just another proud moment to represent my country.”
Bellamy’s side will return to action on Saturday, September 15th, against local rivals Bristol City and City’s U18 Head Coach is looking forward to the challenge ahead against the Robins.
“Bristol City away will be a tough game, in the Severnside derby. We did very well there last year. It was a physical game, but we matched them and were also able to play. It’ll be a tough game as it always is, but just the type of game we need at this age group.”