Academy update: Carr content

Academy Director Tony Carr has taken time out to speak to about a number of subjects.

Carr discussed Saturday's 1-0 home FA Premier Academy League defeat by Chelsea, the involvement of Danny Potts in the first-team squad at Hull City and England call-ups for Rob Hall, Matthias Fanimo, Blair Turgott and schoolboy Josh Cullen.

Can we start by discussing Saturday's 1-0 FA Premier League defeat by Chelsea at Little Heath?

"Yes. It was a 1-0 defeat by Chelsea at home, but it was much-improved performance on our part. I thought we played quite well, especially in the second half.

"We had lots of chances and Elliot Lee has hit the post with a header, we've had two efforts cleared off the line and numerous other opportunities.

"Chelsea are a very good team and are technically a very good side and are strong defensively. They broke away and scored the only goal of the game. We might say we didn't go with the runner in midfield, which was the case, and he popped up in the box and scored with their one real chance of the game.

"After the goal, we chased the game and threw more and more men forward and got caught on the counterattack a couple of times and they could have added to their total.

"I think it was a game in which it was important for us to have scored first and, if we had done, it would have turned the tables our way. Overall, it was a much-improved performance on our part so we're not too despondent about the result.

"We go on to the next match, which is Norwich City away, and hopefully we can get something there."

You were without Danny Potts on Saturday as he was called into to the first-team squad for the npower Championship fixture at Hull City, which must have been pleasing?

"People will look at the results of the youth team and as we've said many, many times we want to win every game we play, but the bottom line is the development of individual players and how far they can progress.

"The pleasing part for us at the weekend was that Daniel Potts, who has had a decent season for us in the youth side, was on the bench for the first team.

"They are short of defenders after losing Winston Reid against Bristol City and obviously Danny had done enough to catch the eye of the senior staff in the development squad games and they had no hesitation in drafting him into the squad.

"He is another one who has come through and from the Academy point of view that is more important than any result we get on a Saturday morning."

You must also have been pleased to see four players called up by England recently?

"Yes. Rob Hall has been included in the Under-19s, who play Denmark in Brighton on Thursday, while Matthias Fanimo and Blair Turgott have been called-up by the Under-18s for a friendly in Slovakia next Wednesday.

"Rob has moved on very quickly because he came back in the summer and went straight into training with the senior squad. He has been out on loan at Oxford United for a couple of months, so he's only been back at the club for fleeting moments.

"He is back at the moment and will now go away for a week with England, but he was on the bench against Bristol City and it will be important to see how much he has learnt and how much he has improved during his time away. I wouldn't rule out another loan at a later stage of the season, but for now I expect him to feature in the first-team arena and hopefully get on the bench and on the pitch sometime soon.

"Josh Cullen, a promising young schoolboy, was also playing for England last week in the Under-16s Victory Shield competition and he did very well. I spoke to the England coach Kenny Swain and he was very pleased with Josh's performance.

"He has a lot of competition in midfield, but we certainly think he is a bright young player and those games can only help his development."