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Reaction: Graham Coughlan on the win against Oxford United

27 August 2014

Graham Coughlan was pleased to see Blues come out on top in an exciting development friendly against Oxford United on Wednesday afternoon.

The seven-goal thriller ended 4-3 to Coughlan’s side but Blues’ development team manager admitted it could well have ended 4-4.

That said, Coughlan was happy with the win and felt some of Blues’ attacking play was excellent throughout the 90 minutes.

He said: “It was a good display, especially the way in which we were able to get 4-1 ahead, but then Oxford United rallied and got back into the game.

“In all fairness, a decision went against them in the first-half with an offside that probably should have stood which meant it would have ended level.

“That said, the lads played some really good football going forward and we got a couple of excellent goals in the first-half through Jack Payne.

“They are young lads in the main and need to learn how to protect a lead, but we held on towards the end when it was 4-3 to come away with the win.”

Coughlan was pleased to see Gary Deegan get 90 minutes under his belt, protecting the back four in the midfield, while Adam Thompson, David Worrall and Payne also got 90 minutes.

He added: “Gary has come in and will be pleased to get the game time in this development fixture to try and build his fitness up as quickly as possible.

“Adam and David got 90 minutes as well, so did Payney. It’s important for the boys not playing to get minutes, while Lee Barnard also got an hour, which was good for him.

“The younger lads all like the chance to get game time too, we’ve got an array of attacking talent with Ellis Brown, Jason Williams and Isaac Layne all wanting to play a similar role.

“But it’s great for their development to be mixing it up in where they play. They will need that flexibility if they are to break into the first-team.

“Payney and Jack Bridge also like the number ten role so it was good to have Gary in the midfield to try and break Oxford’s attacking play up, which I thought he did well.”

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