Under-23 coach Burnett pleased with Tottenham’s youngsters in Dinamo defeat
- Credit: Archant
Spurs lost 1-0 to Dinamo Zagreb in the Premier League International Cup on Tuesday, but Harvey White, 17, caught the eye
Wayne Burnett praised the effort of the youngest players in Tottenham Hotspur’s under-23 team following Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb.
Spurs were dumped out of the Premier League International Cup in the quarter-final stage at Broadhall Way.
Mario Cuze scored the only goal in the 63rd minute to settle a drab affair, although the hosts did create three excellent chances.
Unfortunately they were not taken as Paris Maghoma and Japhet Tanganga failed to hit the target from promising positions while Shilow Tracey saw his header saved by Dinko Horkas in stoppage time.
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Tottenham under-23 coach Burnett said: “In comparison to Dinamo, we were a lot younger, but we equipped ourselves well and just couldn’t find the breakthrough.
“If we had scored first it would have made it a different game because they wouldn’t have been able to sit deep and they would have had to come out more, so that would have changed the complexion of the game.
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“But we had some young players out there who did themselves no harm whatsoever and equipped themselves very well and put in some good performances.”
Harvey White, 17, was one of Spurs’ best performers and his composure in the centre of midfield was evident from the start.
Tottenham were unable to break down the visitors early on, despite Tashan Oakley-Boothe putting plenty of balls into the area.
Dinamo eventually grew into the contest with Antonio Marin in particular a threat and they took a deserved lead with 63 played.
A cross into Spurs’ area from winger Damian Kadzior was flicked on by Leon Sipos and Cuze volleyed home well from 10-yards at the back post.
The Lilywhites under-23s almost equalised immediately, but Maghoma blazed over by the penalty spot after Oakley-Boothe’s neat pass.
White then set up skipper Tanganga for what looked a golden opportunity, but he headed wide in the 80th minute.
Zagreb’s Horkas impressively denied Tracey’s header in the 91st minute too, before Spurs’ number 11 was sent off along with Dinamo skipper Josip Calusic after both sets of players had come together by the corner flag.
Burnett added: “Overall we are disappointed we haven’t been able to progress into the next round, but we probably didn’t do enough with the amount of ball we had.
“We had lots of the ball and dominated possession, but we didn’t do enough with it to enable us to get the crucial breakthrough.”
Up next for Tottenham’s under-23s is a Premier League 2 fixture at home to Chelsea on Friday (7pm kick-off).
It is an important game for Spurs given they are 10th in the table – one spot above the bottom two – having played once more than 11th-placed rivals West Ham United.
The Lilywhites look set to be without forward Troy Parrett again, as he continues his rehabilitation from injury.
And with the likes of Kazaiah Sterling (Sunderland), Shayon Harrison (Melbourne City), and Anthony Georgiou (Levante B) on loan, Tottenham are short of options from an attacking point of view.
Burnett said: “We have some players out on loan and it gives the younger players an opportunity to come in and play.
“We had two or three young players involved against Dinamo and we have to balance up in terms of development what is right for the players, but we need to start winning in the league.
“We are in a precarious position, but I have complete confidence in these players. They are hard-working and honest and we just need to start capitalising on the opportunities presented to us.
“Earlier in the season we were doing that and we have drawn too many games in the league.”