Atay: Early Second-Half Goal Settled Nerves
Tuesday, 4th Dec 2018 22:19
Ipswich U18 coach Adem Atay was quick to congratulate their Andover counterparts after his side’s 4-0 victory in tonight’s FA Youth Cup third round tie at Portman Road.
The Hampshire side held the young Blues in a goalless first half and it was only after Armando Dobra’s breakthrough strike two minutes after the restart, which was followed by a further three from Kai Brown (penalty), Tommy Hughes and schoolboy substitute Harley Curtis, that Atay’s side eased their way into the fourth round of the prestigious competition.
Atay said: “First and foremost we have to compliment the opposition. They played six games to get to this stage and they gave it a really good go.
“You can tell they have been well coached, they have a very good programme and they’ve got to keep doing what they’ve been doing. They should be really pleased with themselves tonight.
“We obviously came into this game treating it like any other game. We want to win matches and it was a really important opportunity for players to actually focus on their development.
“We focus on the match and their individual performances, and it was a good opportunity for them to showcase their talents. In the overall scheme of things we were pleased to come through.”
Even if they rarely looked like finding the net themselves, Andover did well to reach the halfway point without conceding but once Dobra broke the deadlock it was always going to be a question of how many Ipswich eventually scored.
Atay added: “It was a hard first half and it’s not easy playing against opposition you haven’t played against before. It’s the unknown but the boys stuck to their principles, came out in the second half and kicked on, and we got our rewards.
“We were controlling the game in the first half but we were just lacking that final pass and final finish. We highlighted that at half-time and the early goal in the second half just settled the nerves, if there were any, and the frustrations.
“It just helped the all-round performance and they kicked on. It was pleasing to get the second, third and fourth goals, plus the clean sheet that was just as important for the boys to build on their confidence from this game and take into the next stage.”
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