Todd Cantwell believes City’s U23s need to start games better in the wake of their 3-2 defeat to Bournemouth in the Premier League Cup.
Conceding the first goal has been a recurring theme for City’s youngsters over recent weeks and the 19-year-old playmaker says the group needs to be “tight and compact” to prevent it.
“We’ve handed the win to them tonight,” admitted Cantwell. “Their goals were good finishes but we need to defend better as a team because when you’re up against good players you get punished.
“I feel like for spells in the game, we bossed it and had some chances that we should have taken so it could have probably gone a different way.
“There’s certainly togetherness in the group but we’re doing it too late at the moment. We’re going down in games and we’re having to fight to get back into a game, whereas if we stay tight and compact we can go on and win games by a couple of goals.”
City's youngsters came up against an experienced Bournemouth outfit boasting a lucrative strikeforce in the form of Callum Wilson and Benik Afobe and Cantwell believes the experience of playing against them will prove valuable.
“If there’s anything we can take from tonight, it’s that that is the level,” he added.
“Obviously it’s annoying to play against them in a way but at the same time you learn a lot from their movement and you learn a lot from the way they carry out their game. It was a good experience in that sense."