Sunderland U21 0-4 Villa U21: Cowans hails Drennan masterclass
Drennan scored a hat-trick and provided an assist for Graham Burke as Villa blitzed the Black Cats with four goals in 12 second-half minutes at the Academy of Light on Monday.
The brilliantly-taken treble saw the 19-year-old from Kilkenny increase his goal tally for the season to 12.
"I said at half-time Mikey was pulling off shoulders all the time so he should get his head up and have a look early," said Cowans.
"He needs that early pass played to him. He was threaded in a few times and took his chances really well.
"That's what Mikey Drennan does."
The success on a windswept Wearside made it two wins in a row for the boys in claret and blue in the second phase of the Barclays U21 Premier League.
Coach Cowans admits his team's football was a joy to watch at times as they carved out a host of chances.
"The second half was as good as I've seen," he added.
"We kept the ball well, shifted the ball around nice and early and caused them all sorts of problems.
"There wasn't a lot to be said at half-time - just more or less keep going we were doing.
"We needed to play a little bit quicker, up the tempo, shift the ball about, keep shifting them about to tire them out, get balls in to Mikey Drennan and have a look at his movement.
"I did enjoy watching that, it was very good football.
"We said before the game with the conditions the way they were we need to get it down and play and try and dominate the game, which I thought we did."
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