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Rooney disappointed players didn't play to potential

3 November 2016

Under 18's boss gives his reaction after FA Youth Cup defeat

Fleetwood Town’s Under 18 Head Coach Nathan Rooney feels players didn’t play to their full potential in Wednesday’s 1-0 loss against Chester in the FA Youth Cup First Round.

A well struck free kick from Nathan Brown is what sealed the victory for the home side, and Rooney believes the hosts were the better team.

“I don’t think we stamped our ground on the game,” said Rooney.

“We didn’t look like a side that’s actually shown quality and the word endeavour over the last few weeks.

“There’s no point talking too much about it now. At the end of the day it was on show that some players didn’t step up to the mark and to be fair to Chester, we have to give credit to them.

“They were ridged, they were strong, they were organised just like we’ve been over the last couple of months against some good oppositions in our league.

“We didn’t adapt and we didn’t break them down, and I just felt that it needed a strong tackle or someone to influence the game on our behalf.”

Rooney also spoke after the match about the influence the home crowd on the match, and said he was disappointed his players couldn’t match the level of the hosts.

“It wasn’t just because it was home turf, not just because they were lower league underdogs, end of the day you’ve still got to go out there and apply them so when the talking’s done, you’ve got to have players that actually want to do it mentally.

“I believe collectively as a full unit, Chester did that from the start and fair play to them I hope they get a really good draw in the second round.”

“Most of our possession was in our own half, but in my eyes when you dominate the ball you’re progressing as well through the pitch and it’s just disappointing because we’ve come off a tremendous weekend,” he said.

“At a point in the game it was fingers crossed in my pockets, and I was praying that something was going to happen for one of the players and it just didn’t.

“Unfortunately the ball didn’t fall for us like it did over the weekend and it probably needed something special to get the goal tonight,” he added.

The Under 18s boss says it was a good time to impress “senior members” who travelled to watch the game, and his squad needs to think about their futures and try hard to improve.

He said: “I just feel a little bit let down in regards to yes it’s an occasion but it was also an opportunity as well where you’ve got a few senior members of staff sat in the crowd, and I keep going back to them every Monday morning telling them how well we’ve done.

“The lads are well balanced. The youth team is obviously balanced off your first and second years so some boys have got longer than others, some boys have got to have a little think about what’s next for them. Every player in the squad’s still got time to make that stamp and improve.


The Under 18’s are back in action on Saturday as they travel to face Tranmere Rovers. 

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