Chelsea Under-23s manager Joe Edwards admitted that he was delighted with his side’s performance as they blew away Sunderland with a 5-0 Premier League 2 victory at The Hetton Centre.
Ike Ugbo and Ethan Ampadu got themselves on the scoresheet in the North East while winger Callum Hudson-Odoi bagged a hugely impressive hat-trick.
The win was Chelsea’s fifth in six matches in all competitions and the three points have helped ease The Blues’ relegation worries after an initial poor start to the season. After the match, manager Edwards told the Chelsea Presser that he was very pleased with his side’s performance.
“I’m delighted” said The Blues boss. “Obviously, ourselves and Sunderland are down at the wrong end of the table so it made it a big game in terms of the result.
“We brought a strong team up here this afternoon and when you bring such a strong team it’s important that you do it professionally and the mentality is right.
“The lads showed that from the first minute, it was a controlled and dominant performance with and without the ball for pretty much the whole game.
“When you’ve got the talent that we have got you have a chance of racking up the goals.
“The quality shone through, Callum’s (Hudson-Odoi) hat-trick was outstanding and we just grew in confidence and managed the whole game.”
After a poor start to the season, Chelsea’s form looks to be on the up and Edwards is pleased that his side are coming out of a difficult period with better results.
“We didn’t have a great first half of the season in terms of the results in the league but I felt that some of our performances deserved more than what we got” said The Blues boss. “That’s a good challenge in itself for the players.
“The players are used to playing in a team in the academy which is used to winning every game that they play.
“Mentally, there was a bit of an adjustment period where some of us had to get used to the fact that we get punished for sloppy mistakes or not taking your chances or conceding goals.
“Hopefully, in the second half of the season the development and maturity that they have had to show will start shining through on the pitch and we get our results.”
The January transfer window can often prove difficult at this level of football with a number of players facing the prospect of loan moves to other clubs and Edwards admits that this year is likely to be no different.
“I would imagine that a couple of players that were out on that pitch today that will be looking to go out and play in the league and rightly so” admitted Edwards.
“Fair play to them today, they’ve played in a first team and come back and played in the 23s and it was a test of mentality.
“I thought they were first class today and whoever goes out on loan, we wish them the best.
“All that means is the boys who haven’t been in the starting team today or those who have been playing in Jody’s (Morris) team will get opportunities.”
The Chelsea Development Squad are back in action on Tuesday 23 January when Oxford United are the visitors to Stamford Bridge in the Checkatrade Trophy quarter-finals.