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  • McIntyre: Plenty of positives despite Manchester United defeat

    McIntyre: Plenty of positives despite Manchester United defeat

    By: Mark Henderson on 02 Dec, 2017 18:45

  • TOMMY McIntyre was highly-satisfied with how his young players acquitted themselves in today’s 2-0 defeat away to Manchester United in the Premier League International Cup.

    Goals in either half from England U21 cap James Wilson proved the difference bewteen the side at Leigh Sports Village.

    But the young Celts contributed hugely to an entertaining contest and there were lots of positives in the performance for McIntyre and his coaching staff to reflect on.

    Speaking exclusively to the official website, the Professional Academy Manager said: “It was a really good game. It was entertaining and end to end, with two really good teams on the pitch, playing a lot of good football. The difference was Wilson up front for them, who has played for their first team and been out on loan.

    “We dominated a lot of the game, and we were a younger team, but the biggest thing for me was that we played some really good stuff in the game, and it was a good, entertaining match with two good teams on show.

    “Probably the most pleasing thing was the way we kept possession. We had a lot possession of the ball and we were calm on it. It was a fantastic stadium and a lovely pitch and it was just a good football match. Both teams tried to play football the right way and it was played in the right spirit, and I thought the younger ones handled that level of competition really well.

    “Liam Henderson did well for us. We lost Beni (Kundai Benyu) before the game as he had a back injury so we had to change it at the last minute and brought in Kerr McInroy. That was a bit of a blow but the young players excelled, and you would take these types of games every week as they are a great learning curve for our players.”

    The English side’s second goal came five minutes from the end of the game and the Hoops youngsters came close on several occasions to restoring parity.

    “We had some really good chances in the game and we were a bit unlucky on a few occasions,” said McIntyre. “We were always in the game. Liam Henderson hit one from the halfway line which beat the goalie and just went by the post. It was incredible vision and really well executed. We also had a goal chopped off for offside in the second half. It was another great experience for us and we enjoyed it.”

    The defeat to the Red Devils brings an end to Celtic’s participation in the prestigious U23 tournament this season, in which they have also come up against Athletic Bilbao and Swansea, and McIntyre felt it had been another invaluable experience for the Bhoys.

    “We did really well against Man United and against Athletic Bilbao and probably the disappointing game was the Swansea one,” he explained. “We had a very young team against a tough Swansea team but, while that was disappointing, we take out the positives out of the other two games.

    “We had more first-team players involved against Bilbao but it’s not about that - it’s about getting that platform for learning and developing, and if we continue to play games like this, along with the European games, what a a great education it is for the young players coming through.

    "Ultimately, it’s all about performance and challenging yourself. The games are really tough, and you are up against quality players and opposition, so it’s been really pleasing and there have been a lot of positives.”

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Hazard; Duffy, Hill, Deas, Miller; McInroy, Henderson; Thomson, Hendry (Watson 75), E. Henderson; Aitchison
    Not Used: Willison, Welsh, Savoury, Bell, 

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