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Development Squad

Damien delighted with "outstanding" Anfield display

“It was important to have a reaction from the group after Tuesday and I certainly got that from the lads"

29 April 2019

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Damien Johnson was delighted to finish off the first season in the top tier of Premier League 2 by completing the double over high-flying Liverpool at Anfield.

First half goals from the in form Joe Rankin-Costello and Dan Butterworth sealed the points for Johnson’s youngsters, with the hosts pulling a goal back late on through skipper George Johnston.

The Development Squad have been flying since the turn of the year, with 13 wins from their last 17 outings in all competitions, finishing the campaign mid-table.

On the latest three-point haul, Johnson praised his players for a fine reaction after suffering defeat in the Premier League Cup at Everton during the week, labelling his side’s first half display at Anfield as “outstanding”.

“To come to a place like Anfield and win, the players have to take great credit for that,” the Development Squad chief reflected after the game.

“Certainly in the first half I thought we were outstanding. In terms of doing what we asked of them during the week, the lads focused, were able to nullify Liverpool’s strengths and worked hard to exploit them in key areas.

“You have to accept that you may have to deal with pressure from them in the second half, but if I’m nitpicking then we’re disappointed with the goal we conceded.

“I was pleased that we worked well from wide areas. It was a good passage of play before the cross came in for Joe’s goal and also with Dan finding the space to go on and score after an excellent pass from Tyler [Magloire].

“I think we had plenty of other good moments and could have scored more. With a bit more quality and composure, we could have added to our tally.

“But overall I’m really pleased to see us playing with the intensity we showed - I thought that was missing from us at Everton on Tuesday night,” he added.

“It was important to have a reaction from the group after Tuesday and I certainly got that from the lads.

“The form since the first round of fixtures has been very good and it was nice to finish off the league campaign of with a victory."

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