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Billy reflects on pre-season so far...

Positives to take for the young Rovers from their recent friendly results

30 July 2018

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There have been mixed results for Rovers' Under-18s side so far in pre-season, but coach Billy Barr says there are positives to take from the displays from his youngsters.

The young Rovers have won two and drawn one of their four recent friendlies, and Barr confesses there are positives to take but also things to improve on from their quartet of recent games.

It's certainly been a busy time for Barr's boys, who also took part in a gruelling training camp near Edinburgh earlier in the summer.

"We started against Liverpool College in our first friendly on Saturday 14th July and won 7-0 on the day," Barr reflected. "We overpowered in the second half at the end of what was a really hard week at Linlithgow.

"The trip to Linlithgow was mainly based around hard work and mentality. There was no part of it where we had a football. It was all about body weight, running, team challenges, and overall it was a really good trip. We came back, and finished it well with the game.

"We then played Carlisle in midweek and to be honest we weren’t good, looked leggy, lost 2-1, and there really weren't too many positives. It’s part of building minutes in pre-season at the beginning, giving 45 minutes and 60 minutes for players to get up to speed. 

"We then took on Wigan last weekend and in the first half we were okay and it was 2-2 at half time. But we gave away poor goals that were easily avoidable.
"We made changes at half time then went 3-2 down early second half from a counter attack. Then conceded two in the last 30 minutes. We played with a lot of Under-16s.
"We finished by playing Blackpool and rotated from Saturday and comfortably won 3-1."
And looking ahead to the first league game against Stoke City on Saturday 11th August, Billy still tants to see improvement from his side ahead of the opener against the Potters.
"We're having a look at some trialists and we have a young group that we're working with. Jake Garrett is an Under-16 who has been involved in the last three games, and it's been great for him to get plenty of game time.

"The play isn’t what we want with the season two weeks away but we're getting there. There is still lots of work to do and we need to continue getting people functioning and sharp."

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