Northampton Town Under 18s coach Shane Goddard hopes his team have 'turned a corner' after they progressed to the regional semi final of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup with a 2-1 win at home to Southend United on Saturday.
Jack Connor and Rico Duggan scored the young Cobblers’ goals. Connor has three in as many games and Duggan has three in four.
Speaking after the match, Goddard said: “I’m pleased with the boys for putting a cup run together because that’s one of the things that they said they wanted to do earlier in the season.
“It’s allowed us to have a refreshed mentality going into games, and we’re now starting to perform to the levels that we know we’re capable of.
“We were well-structured for the first 50 minutes but 2-0 is an awkward scoreline.
“Southend are good athletically and individually and they move the ball well, so when they had more freedom, they caused us some problems.
“It was a good, competitive game and both teams were part of that.”
Goddard’s side are now unbeaten in four matches in all competitions after a slow start to the season.
He added: “The boys have shown resilience individually and have hopefully turned a corner as a group.
“There’s been a real change in our focus in terms of being hard to beat, being organised and working for each other.
“There are some really good players in this group with promising futures ahead of them, so we had to remind them that as long as we put in the right performance levels, results aren’t important.
“Unfortunately, there was a period where we weren’t putting in the right performance levels, but we are now and we’re seeing results from it.
“The boys have turned a corner, they’re getting their reward and I’m really happy for them.”
The youth team return to Youth Alliance League action when they host Cambridge United in just under a fortnight.