…… Brand on lessons to learn from this year’s campaign
Our young Blues cannot make it through to the next stage of this year’s UEFA Youth League after last week’s defeat, however coach Ed Brand is still looking for his side to give a good account of themselves in their final group game which will be live streamed on our platforms…
Our young Blues play their final group game of this year’s UEFA Youth League against Dinamo Zagreb later this afternoon and it will be live streamed on the Chelsea website and 5th Stand app with kick-off is scheduled for 1pm.
Ed Brand’s men can no longer qualify for the the next round as their chances were scuppered by the tough loss against Salzburg last week.
Nevertheless, Brand has been able to reflect on a campaign which has seen a number of debutants in the competition, some good goals and steady progression from a number of players.
He has been speaking about what he feels the group can learn going forward and what the approach for today’s game will be.
Ed Brand’s words
‘Ultimately, results have been disappointing but I think we have played well in four out of five games in terms of chances that we created and the amount of control that we had in those games.’
He did acknowledge however, that his side needed to be much better in both penalty boxes if they wanted ti improve going forward.
‘Though I think we were not fortunate in some games, we have to look at ourselves and the truth is we made a number of individual errors which at this level will be punished. We also have to defend our 18-yard area a lot better than we have as well as making sure that we are being clinical when in the opposition’s box.’
Nonetheless, despite results not going our way, this year’s UYL has given us the opportunity to play a number of young players who gained exposure and experience. In addition to a number of first-year scholars who played in the competition for the first time, Kiano Dyer and Frankie Runham, both 15 years of age, were trusted to play a lot of minutes at various points in the competition.
‘With all the things that I think we can take away from this competition, I do think it was good to see that a lot of young players were given the chance to play and they did not look out of their depth. Under-16s and -17s have been used and this is a really positive sign for the future.’
Approach for this afternoon
‘We want to end this competition on a high and we will definitely be trying to win the game. Our opponents still have an opportunity to qualify, so we will definitely be competitive.’
He added that: ‘We will still be giving an opportunity to young players, but I have no doubts that we will be able to match their mentality and match their intensity and we are all looking forward to it.’
Last time out
Chelsea were on the wrong end of a 5-1 scoreline in Salzburg last week as our elimination from the competition was confirmed.
To give ourselves a chance of progressing to the next round we needed aa victory against the side we drew 1-1 against at Cobham.
Despite going one nil down early on, we responded well through Malik Mothersille who was on hand to prod home Jimi Tauriainen’s cross.
Not taking our chances to go ahead, the half-time score was 3-1 to the home side. A penalty miss from Charlie Webster early in the second summed up our fortune as the young Red Bulls used the momentum they had to blow us away.
We are still yet to win a game in the competition despite some very close games with our opponents in the group stage.
This afternoon’s home game is our last opportunity to register a win but we face a side who still have a chance of progress into the next round. They need a win against us and a defeat for RB Salzburg in their game against AC Milan.
Dinamo Zagreb (a) – 4-2 loss
Red Bull Salzburg (h) – 1-1 draw
AC Milan (h) – 1-1 draw
AC Milan (a) – 3-1 loss
Red Bull Salzburg (a) – 5-1 loss