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Interviews

Andy Dawson looks ahead to Chelsea U18s FA Youth Cup encounter

15 December 2017

Professional Development Phase Coach Andy Dawson is looking forward to his side taking on Chelsea U18s in the third round of the FA Youth Cup.

He emphasised the fact, in his pre-match interview, that the Iron's youngsters have earned the right to be at this stage of the competition after beating both Long Eaton United and Cambridge United on their travels in the preceding two rounds.

ON PLAYING THE GAME AND NOT THE OCCASION...

AD: It's a great experience, but like we always say you can only enjoy it when you come out with something where you can look yourself in the mirror at the end of it and say you've given everything. If they can do that, they will have enjoyed the occasion, playing against a fantastic team and producing fantastic memories.

We're going there to perform. Every time we've previewed a cup match, I've spoke about working hard every day and improving. A match day is a time to go out and show what you've got and the occasion and the experience will only be memorable if they go out and do that. I believe that they're all confident and they've had enough work to show how good they are as players.

ON EARNING THE RIGHT TO BE IN THE THIRD ROUND...

AD: They've worked hard. We've beaten Long Eaton away and then Cambridge away, which were two toughs games. Certainly in the second half against Cambridge, we probably put on one of the best performances of our season. Some of the football we played was exceptional and it was a joy to watch. They know that and they've set the standards. They've now got an opportunity to go into an even bigger stage and do it again - and that's the challenge we've set them.

ON THE QUALITY OF THE OPPOSITION...

AD: Their record in this cup speaks for itself. They've won it on numerous occasions over the last few years and they've got the best players in the world at this level. For me, that's a great opportunity for our lads to say "never mind them, look at us". They've worked hard to get to this stage and it's up to them to not fear it, meet it head on.

There's no hiding the fact they've got the best young players in the world. I'd say in England, but they're not, they're the best in the world. That's proven by a number of them winning the U17 World Cup.

As a young footballer you want to challenge yourself against the best.

ON THE MOOD IN THE CAMP GOING INTO THE GAME...

AD: They're obviously excited. You'd expect that, they're young men. The majority of them haven't grown up playing against Category One teams and it's very rare these players get the opportunity to play against a team like this.

We've drilled it into them this year that they can be excited and they can enjoy it, but we don't go into games to make the numbers up, we go into the games to perform.

We saw what happened last night with Manchester City (losing to Plymouth in the FA Youth Cup). It's a game of football and that's the attitude they have to have going into the game.


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