Academy Notes: Naz Bakrin

Charlton Athletic U23s defender Naz Bakrin spoke to Valley Gold for Academy Notes after the 2-1 defeat at Derby County in the Premier League Cup.

The centre-half who signed for the Addicks aged 18 describes his strengths as composure and calmness on the ball, foot speed and aggressive tackling said:

“In the first half Derby dominated the game and could have been three or four goals up at halftime if not for the heroics of our goalkeeper James Beadle.

“I felt at the start of the first half we created two good chances and exploited the spaces behind Derby’s defence well through deep runs from midfield. However, as the half went on we could have tried to keep the ball more and not try to go forward too quickly as it resulted in us giving the ball away

“In addition, we were careless in our defensive third of the pitch with the ball which is where the goal came from with us losing possession and them capitalising on our mistake. In terms of us out of possession, I felt that the high defensive line worked well as they were played offside many times and the shape was compact so it just meant they kept giving the ball back to us. However, as the half progressed Derby started to dominate and got down the sides of our defence too easily when collectively we were too late in applying pressure. Their fast wing-back created a handful of chances for James Beadle to stop

“The game completely shifted in the second half and we dominated with or without the ball. We won the ball back countless times from high pressing and created high-quality chances for Mason Burstow and Johl Pohl, but Derby scored a second from the second phase of a wide free-kick with a poor clearance that fell kindly on the edge of the box.

“Despite going two-nil down we continued to dominate and Derby went down to 10 men with a second yellow card for their captain. We piled on the pressure and a well-worked move resulted in a good finish from Ben Dempsey.

“Going into the final 20 minutes, Derby were in a low block and trying to play on the counter. Two golden opportunities fell to Deji Elerewe but unfortunately, he could not apply the finishing touch. Derby sustained the pressure well and we needed to come up with more ideas to try and break down their stubborn defence.

“I felt we played very well, especially in the second half, but we just couldn’t capitalise on Derby being reduced to 10 men to salvage at least a point from the game.”

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