Reaction: Blues Under-23s 1 Solihull Moors 3

Senior Professional Development Coach Steve Spooner.
Senior Professional Development Coach Steve Spooner.

It’s a completely different test to the normal type of games we face and I was very pleased with how we came through that.

Steve Spooner.

Steve Spooner was pleased with the overall performance as Blues Under-23s opened their pre-season campaign with a competitive run-out against Solihull Moors.

Two goals inside the opening 17 minutes from the National League visitors gave the young Blues team an early wake-up call and something to work on for future, in particular the way they came about.

But the hosts responded well and created some good chances throughout the remainder of the contest, competing well in a hard-fought encounter that Moors eventually won 3-1.

“It’s a completely different test to the normal type of games we face and I was very pleased with how we came through that,” said Blues’ Senior Professional Development Coach, who watched over proceedings accompanied by the new Under-23s Head Coach Xavi Calm.

“We were disappointed with the first two goals. They were carbon copies of one another, both cut-backs, so we need to make sure that we sort that out. But other than that it was a great workout.”

Solihull fielded two different teams in each half and included some very experienced players in their ranks, many with a vast amount of Football League experience under their belt, including former Blues favourites Darren Carter and Mitch Hancox.

Tim Flowers’ side finished runners-up in the top flight of non-league football last season and Spooner admitted: “We always knew it was going to be such a test.

“These games are good because the players have designs about playing first team football, whether that’ll be here or out on loan at other clubs, and those are the type of games they’ll experience.”

Summer signing Jayden Reid marked his first outing in a Blues shirt with a tremendous consolation strike in the match played behind closed doors at the Trillion Trophy Training Centre, Wast Hills.

And the deficit could have been reduced further, especially late on when George Baker was through on goal but denied by a point-blank save.

“It was a fantastic goal that we scored and we could have had more. We were pleased with the way the lads performed,” said Spooner

“On Friday we have a game against Manchester City, so that’s two very different experiences for the boys and that’s what we want to give them, varying challenges.”

“We’ve changed the shape of the team, so it’s about consistency and working on the training ground to get used to that,” added Spooner, whose side lined up in a 3-4-2-1 formation.

“It’s important that everyone knows what their requirements are in the game, whether they’re starting or coming on as a sub.

“These games are about trying to adapt to a different system as we work towards the start of our season on 10 August.”