Morgan Looking for Repeat of Leeds Performance at Burnley
Friday, 13th Jan 2012 10:58
Academy manager Sammy Morgan is looking for the Blues’ U18s to repeat the spirited display that beat Leeds in the third round when they take on Burnley at Turf Moor in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup this evening (KO 7pm). An away tie against Reading or West Brom awaits the winners.
Morgan, who made the six-hour trip to Lancashire with the squad yesterday afternoon, told TWTD: “It’ll be an interesting one this evening. We’ve got this game and then if we can get through it we’ve got Reading or West Brom away, two games we’re capable of winning but whether we do only the good Lord upstairs knows. They’re never easy matches these cup games.
“Before the game against Leeds we said to them that there will be times in games when you go through sticky periods and you have to stick together and help each other out at these moments, and we did have one of those spells in the second half where Leeds came at us and we held firm.
“We came through that and that’s the sort of line I’m taking tonight. These are never easy rides these matches, you’re going to go through sticky spells, if can you pull one another through these spells and come out the other side you can then express yourselves the best you can. That’s the way I look at it.”
He says instilling that resolve and belief that they can go that extra yard is a difficult part of a youth coach’s job: “When they think they’ve given everything, there’s some left. They’re young enough not to understand that when they think they’re spent, they’re not.
"If we get that out of them, they’ll know on another occasion. That’s what you try and build up with them in the couple of years you have them here full-time.
“I always find that youngsters don’t realise how hard they have to work and how hard it is. This isn’t a joy, this isn’t a day out, this isn’t a day at the seaside, this is a day of work up here and everything is geared up for tonight. It’s part of the learning process for them.”
Burnley are by no means easy opposition and will be looking for a 13th successive win in all competitions. Morgan says U18s coach Russell Osman has watched them: “They’ve got a good record, but I don’t worry about that too much. They’ve got a couple of decent players, Russell had a look at them last week, so we know what we’re up against.
“Youngsters are up and down with form and it’s important to encourage them and drive them forward and be very positive with them.
“They’re a very respectful group of lads, good characters and they fought through the last round and didn’t buckle. That was a good sign and I’m hoping those signs remain tonight.
“Burnley have had a good track record over the years, they’ve always been quite decent Burnley. It’s going to be a good game and I hope we lift the spirits at the club a little bit with a good performance and a good result.”
On the subject of whether Town will opt for Academy Category One or Two status, Morgan says no decision has yet been made: “Discussions are ongoing at the club.”
Burnley will be opening the Bob Lord Stand for tonight's match with entry on the door £4 for adults and £2 for concessions.
Squad: Conor O’Donnell, Dan O’Neil, David October, Aaron Jones, Joe Whight, Callum Bennett, Jideofo Maduako, Nicolay Schrøder, Lewis Acott, Jonathan Leddy, Shaun Meikle, Gunnar Thorsteinnssen, Elliot Scotcher, Mark Timlin, Byron Lawrence, Jack Simmons, Tom Winter, Jack Marriott, Carel Tiofack.
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