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Interviews

Andy Dawson looks forward to FA Youth Cup encounter

2 November 2017

Professional Development Phase Coach Andy Dawson is looking forward to his side's FA Youth Cup encounter against Long Eaton United this evening.

Dawson takes United's under-18's to Grange Park in Derbyshire for the side's first involvement in the competition this season. Meanwhile Long Eaton have overcome four preliminary rounds to get to this stage, beating Anstey Nomads 9-4 (H), West Bridgford 4-3 (A), Aylestone Park 2-1 (H) and finally Nuneaton Town 2-1 (A).

We got pre-match thoughts from the Scunthorpe academy coach.

ON PREPARING FOR THE TIE...

AD: It's another good game for our boys. It's the FA Youth Cup and it's made a lot of, but we stress to the lads every time they step on the training pitch it could be the last session they're ever going to have. It's no different in terms of the way we're going to prepare for it because we just want the lads to go out and perform and to show their capabilities. Hopefully they can do that in front of everyone that's watching.

ON LONG EATON UNITED...

AD: They'll be a good team. I know they're connected to a college. Our lads go to college two days a week, so they'll run a professional scheme just like us. Their ability and the quality that they'll have will be very high. Most of their lads will have been in academies and may have been released at 16-years-old. There are a lot of big teams on their doorstep, so these lads might have decided to go down the college route. There's Derby County, Notts County, Nottingham Forest, Mansfield Town in the area and Long Eaton will no doubt have picked up a few players from their academies.

It'll be a difficult game without a shadow of doubt, but one we're looking forward to. Our lads are connected to a progressive professional football club and we expect high standards of them and they demand high standards of themselves. If we can go there and stick to our plan like we do every day in training, I'll be more than happy.

ON PROGRESSING FURTHER IN THE COMPETITION...

AD: You can't really look further than this game. This is the next game and the most important. If we don't perform against Long Eaton United, we won't need to think about the next round (versus Cambridge United).

ON THE TEAM SO FAR THIS SEASON...

AD: The lads are getting on really well so far. I'm really pleased with them and there are loads of positives. We're really honest with them and it's the right way of doing things. They're on an apprenticeship scheme but also working towards getting into an environment which is one of the most difficult around. It's a really good group, I've enjoyed working with them and we've seen the progression from day one to where they are now.

My last judgement is what they've done in the latest training session, so when they come down to the club for lunch, I sit with the gaffer (Graham Alexander) and I'm totally honest with them. Good players will perform to their maximum every day. It won't always go well, but you know that they'll set their standards high.

ON GEORGE HORNSHAW MAKING THE FIRST TEAM BENCH...

AD: George and a few others are the example of being professional, showing the attitude and application to want to be down here with the gaffer and training with the first team. We stress that winner's attitude to the boys all the time. Whether it's a passing drill, five-a-side or 11-a-side, you want to be on that winning team. That's the mindset you've got to have.


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