'They've got some good little players' - Oldham Athletic boss Keith Curle on Leeds United's EFL Trophy involvement
Keith Curle says he'll be keeping an eye on two or three of Leeds United's 'good little players' after his Oldham Athletic side lost 3-2 to the Whites' Under 21s.
Mark Jackson's youngsters picked up three points in the group stage of the EFL Trophy at Boundary Park to join the Latics on three points. Leeds will play Salford City in November knowing that a win will put them through to the knockout stages.
Former Manchester City and Wolves defender Curle, in the seventh managerial role of his post playing career, said a number of Leeds' players caught his eye last night but he was frustrated by some of what he saw from his own team, which included seven changes from the previous outing.
"Good movement, they've got some good little players which you know they're going to have," he said of Leeds.
"We didn't do well, we didn't do the basics well, some of our decision making was poor. The goals are disappointing but when you lose you've got to learn. Good opportunity to learn, doesn't matter who you're playing against, when you're on the fringes of the first team you've got to be working hard. We were flat in midfield and out-ran."
The EFL Trophy changed in the 2016/17 season to include a number of invited Category One academies, although the Premier League's biggest clubs were slow to get involved initially and the move was met with criticism from Football League fans and commentators who felt it devalued the competition.
Leeds first entered as a Premier League side last season, with a very young side losing all three of their group games.
Curle sees some benefit in having clubs like Leeds involved in the Trophy.
"Great opportunity to have a look at the aspiring young professionals," he said.
"I thought two or three of their players stood out that I hadn't seen before or had been unnoticed before and I thought I'll keep an eye on them because I think they've got potential.
"Sometimes it's difficult when you watch 23s play against 23s because the tempo is not right but I think they acquitted themselves very well."