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Interviews

SMITH THRILLED WITH U18S SQUAD UNITY

6 November 2021

Stretching their unbeaten run to eight and going top of the table, it was a good day’s work for Tom Harban’s side as they ran out 3-0 winners against Hull U18s.

It was a positive afternoon for Lloyd Smith, with the young striker netting the second goal and leading the line well for the young Reds.

“It was a good day,” said Smith. “Couldn’t really ask for more to be honest. We’ve come into it knowing we’re seven unbeaten before the game and we just wanted to carry that on. Obviously try and win, and if you don’t win, you need to at least draw. We’ve all done our jobs brilliantly; we’ve worked hard for each other which showed in the result.”

The young Reds performed well across the board, but the right-hand side of the pitch was fruitful for the Barnsley attackers, with there being good chances created via that flank.

Smith puts this down to the unity and bond the squad has.

“Because we’ve been together for such a long time, it must be at least four or five years, we just understand each other,” continued our young striker. “Who’s going to do what, who’s going to run in behind, who’s going to come short, and we all just understand each other’s game.

“We all work off each other and it’s just a joy to do.

“It’s the same on field and off the field, we all love each other really, not got a bad word to say about each other. We all know each other on field, and we all know each other off the field, it just helps.”

Harban opted to deploy a diamond formation, switching from the 3-4-3 system that has given his side so much success on the early stages of the campaign.

It proved to have the desired effect as the young Reds racked up one of their biggest wins so far this season, and Smith insists he is happy to feature in any style.

“I’ll play any formation that Tom obviously asks,” asserted the 17-year-old. “I trust Tom and whatever he says I’ll do to my best. I played that formation two years ago and it was probably the best season I’ve had so it was straight back in. I knew my jobs and whatever Tom told me to do, I’ll try and do that to my best.”

Up next for our U18s is a clash with Coventry City, who currently sit bottom of the Professional Development League North despite not losing a game all term heading into Saturday’s encounter with Sheffield Wednesday.

Smith is hoping to make it nine unbeaten as they look to establish themselves at the top of the table.

“Anybody that we play really, no matter what, we’ve got to go in with a positive mindset and telling each other we’re going to win and backing each other and when it does come to the games,” he stated. “We’ve just got to work harder than the opponent and make sure we’re all together.”


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