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Reaction: Brown gives his thoughts on the Checkatrade Trophy win of Reading U21s

4 October 2017

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Blues extended their winning run to four matches thanks to Theo Robinson’s solitary strike against Reading u21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Having seen his side get off the mark and put themselves in position to progress from the group stage of the competition, Phil Brown spoke to the club to give us his thoughts.

On the victory against Reading u21s…

Sometimes you get these 23s games and you don’t know what to expect or, shall I say, you do know what to expect, you just don’t know how well they’re going to play or how good they are.

They’re young lads that we’re playing against, but we had a young side out tonight as well and pitting our 17s and 18s and 19s against their 17s, 18s and 19s with a smattering of experience obviously worked in our favour and worked against them.

I’ve got Ricky [Duncan] sitting in there with the backroom staff and we’re just talking about how well certain young lads played and they’ve got the experience now of going up against first-team football where it really matters to win.

There were lots of things to admire about the performance; a clean-sheet first and foremost. Mark Oxley has got himself a match-winning save in the 94th minute on Saturday and he’s got himself a clean-sheet tonight.

There’s lots to admire and the most important thing is that we got three points and we’ve got a game against Colchester which will be a feisty encounter to go through the competition.

On the competition itself…

A lot of people might throw this competition away and cast it to one side and disregard it, but I think it’s a great competition.

I’m not just saying that because we won tonight, I thought when we played Brighton last year it was a good test for our academy versus anyone else’s academy.

I know when you pit your wits, academy against academy, on a Saturday when the 16s and the 18s play against each other you get a fair judge but this is the best judge.

They’re going into first-team action and they’re getting questioned, they’re getting asked by senior pros ‘are you good enough to play with us?’

There’s lots of things to admire about it, but at the same time I think it’s a feather in the cap for the academy and it’s brilliant that Dru [Yearwood], Harry [Kyprianou], Amadou [Ba] and Elvis [Bwomono] all shone tonight.

On Elvis Bwomono and selection headaches against Doncaster…

I was fortunate enough to play 700-odd games at right back so I’m not going to be giving him any bad advice but I do want him to play higher than I did and I think he can.

Whether it’s with this club or not with this club, at this moment in time Elvis has shown signs that he’s got the skill, he’s got the mentality and he’s got the team around him that are actually supporting him.

The first team players were all here tonight and every one of them are in there saying they’re looking forward to him playing on Saturday. I haven’t made that decision yet, but I have to fulfil a vacant role at right-back.

John White showed a lot experience tonight, he put his head on things, and I honestly think John is drifting into the best position being a centre-back. But now all of a sudden we’ve got a little bit of competition at centre-back with Harry Kyprianou's emergence so there’s lots of things to think about before Saturday.

We’ve had three league games and we’ve won them all and everyone’s singing about nine points from three games, and it was nice to keep that winning roll going and it shows there’s something right about the mentality of that group in there. 

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