Brighton & Hove Albion under-18 coach Simon Rusk has praised his players for how they've adapted to the new challenge of a category one games programme.
Rusk’s side have achieved some impressive victories over Aston Villa, Southampton, Fulham and Norwich and he feels his squad are moving in the right direction.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “The boys have been a credit with how they’ve adjusted to category one football. In the first game of the season against Arsenal, we were on the end of a really harsh 4-0 scoreline which didn’t give a fair reflection of the game.
“They’ve worked incredibly hard and managed to implement their game on the opposition, showing some good tactical understanding.
“We’re facing good opposition every week now and that stretches the boys and stretches us as coaches.
“The games have been open and enjoyable to watch. There have been some good wins, but more importantly, there have been some good performances. Individually the lads are moving forward in the right direction.”
LATEST NEWS FROM SEAGULLS.CO.UK
- REPORT: WAFORD 1 ALBION 1
- GREER'S PRIDE AT SCOTLAND CALL-UP
- IRELAND PLEASED WITH U21S' PROGRESS
- FENELON RETURNS TO ALBION
- SPURS TICKET INFORMATION
Despite the obvious step up in quality, Rusk says he has not coached the players any differently, but cites a strong mentality as key to their development.
“The boys have nothing to fear from anything in the games. To me, it’s no different if you’re playing against Manchester United or a non-league side; your attitude needs to be spot on.
“I’m just asking the players to do what’s required, and that is to represent this football club in the right way by working as hard as they can and aim to improve every day.
“Your next game as a footballer, no matter who it is against, is always your biggest and your next day in training is always an opportunity to improve.
“The higher you go, what you do with the ball becomes more important. What the players will learn is that mistakes get punished the higher up you play. Players are at these clubs for a reason. If you lose the ball in your own half against category one players then they will go and hurt you.
“But to sit fourth in the league at this stage and have some good wins and performances under our belt is a credit to the players.”