Ruth: Togetherness is helping us get results

Under-21s are back in action tonight looking to extend unbeaten run.

By Bruce Talbot • 18 November 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Shannon Ruth's team began their Premier League Cup on Monday with a 4-3 win over QPR.

Shannon Ruth says the under-21s' good run since he took over as head coach has been a collective effort by his players.

Albion haven’t lost in seven matches against academy opposition and continued that run when they came from 3-0 down with 20 minutes left to beat Queens Park Rangers 4-3 on Monday.

It lifted us into second place in Group B in the Premier League Cup ahead of Friday's trip to Derby County, which is being played at Loughborough University (7pm).


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PL Cup Highlights: QPR 3 Albion 4

Ruth said, “In every game in that run we have made 4-5 subs to freshen it up or, as was the case against QPR, to help us get over the line and get a positive result. It’s been a big part of the run of seven unbeaten we have been on, and it keeps everyone on their toes.

“We think giving players opportunities is the key to keeping the team spirit good and contributing to the togetherness in the squad.”

Ruth made six changes against QPR to the side which had beaten Blackburn 2-1 in our most recent Premier League 2 game and the players who came on in the second half made important contributions. Jack Hinshelwood won a penalty which Ben Wilson converted to make it 3-2, Benicio Baker-Boaitey scored the equaliser with a brilliant strike into the top corner and Luca Barrington assisted Andrew Moran for the first of his two goals.

By Paul Hazlewood
Benicio Baker-Boaitey grabbed Albion's equaliser in the 4-3 win over QPR.

“Benicio came on and got a really good goal, Luca made an impact and Jack Hinshelwood won the penalty. Everyone who played contributed, and that’s very important.”

Although Premier League 2 is in cold storage until January, there are seven games between now and December 19 for the under-21s. Tonight’s trip to Derby is the first of four to complete the group stages of the Premier League Cup and there are two home games in the International Cup against PSV and Monaco as well as the start of Albion’s Sussex Senior Cup defence at Three Bridges next Tuesday.

“The games are coming thick and fast and Derby will be another tough one,” said Ruth. “But Monday has put us in with a chance of getting out of the group and we’ll go there looking to get another result, although we don’t want to climb a mountain like we did on Monday every week.”