Ruth: Players deserve back-to-back wins

Under-23s defeat Derby to make it two wins on the spin.

By Charlie Hanson • 17 April 2021

By Paul Hazlewood
Shannon Ruth was delighted that Albion Under-23s were able to make it back-to-back wins.

Albion's 3-1 win in Premier League 2 over Derby County on Friday was a managerial first for Andrew Crofts and Shannon Ruth.

The interim coaches enjoyed their first consecutive victories having beaten Southampton 3-0 last week, with the match at Everton on 26th April the last of the campaign.

“It's a really good feeling to get our first back-to-back wins,” Ruth said. “Crofty and I have both thoroughly enjoyed this period of time with the players, and we said thank you to them at the end of the Derby game for the hard work they’ve put in because they try to do everything that is asked of them.

“It’s the time when decisions about their futures are being made, so there’s a lot on their minds. They’ve managed to focus on their performances which is a credit to them.


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U23 Highlights: Albion 3 Derby 1

“The wins have been a nice reward for their efforts. In previous games we haven’t got what we have deserved, we should have a few more points on the board.”

Heavy defeats earlier in the campaign have sparked a renewed energy in the squad according to Ruth.

“Sometimes you have to lose to get a response like we did at Tottenham and against Arsenal. You need those moments so you say 'that can never happen again'. It's the players who own it then and don't want to feel that way again.

“The players have said to themselves that whatever it takes as a group to move forward they have to do it. They've built on that and the confidence has followed.

“There were a number of corners they had to defend against Derby and, when the confidence isn't there, you might get into the mindset that one of those will find its way into the back of the net. When Derby did have the upper hand the boys rode out that wave really well.”