Alan Reeves is encouraged that his coaching methods are being taken onto the pitch by Wimbledon's youngsters, but he still feels there’s room for improvement.
Ethan Nelson-Roberts took on board Alan’s instructions and got a first-half equaliser in a Central League Cup defeat, however the development coach felt visitors Bristol Rovers were worthy 2-1 winners.
“It was a good finish from Ethan,” said Alan.“He played in a couple of positions to be fair and we did a session before on patterns of play and we were attacking down the right wing and he was stuck out on the left wing.
“I basically coached him on how to get in the box and when he put it in from a cross from the right, he came over and said ‘Reevesy, that’s what we‘d done in training’, so it’s nice to see that some of them are taking on board what I’m trying to coach.
"I find myself shouting stuff onto the pitch constantly. I get a bit bored doing it because I am not going to be there for all their careers. I can help them as much as I can, but I want them to take ownership of their own games and take things on board better. The quicker they can do that, the better players they will become.
“It wasn’t to be. I put Great (Evans) on at half-time and decided to go a bit ‘big’, we were going down the hill of the pitch and I said to the boys to try and play it forward a bit quicker and try and fill the pitch up and get some crosses in the box and get some set-pieces and that’s what we did.”
Click on the link below to view Alan's full interview on our You Tube channel.
On-loan Stoke City striker Dominic Telford scored a couple of goals for Rovers, one in each half, which Alan felt his side could have dealt better with.
“We huffed and puffed a bit. I said to the boys afterwards that I wasn’t majorly disappointed, but Bristol Rovers deserved to win and especially in the first-half they had quite a few chances. We were lucky as they hit the post a couple of times.
“I think that their intensity was better than ours. They didn’t try and play it out from the back, they put it into the corner flags and tried to fill the pitch up. They were energetic, defended well and to be fair – they deserved the win.”
Neal Ardley was an interested spectator on the sideline, as he cast an eye over the young Dons and Alan was pleased to see him there.
“He said he wanted to come down and watch the young lads and it was good to see him. I said to the lads before the game that the gaffer is going to be here, even though the first-team were training this afternoon.
“He decided to come down here and watch the boys and that says a lot for him and for you so can you raise your game a little bit? If the first-team manager is here watching you play – this is the last time he sees you play until the next time - so make sure it’s good thoughts in his head.”