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Rooney pleased with heart shown as Under 18s progress in Youth Cup

1 November 2017


Rooney pleased with heart shown as Under 18s progress in Youth Cup

1 November 2017

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Head coach Nathan Rooney says he was proud of his side’s resilience following Tuesday night’s FA Youth Cup victory over Guiseley.

After 120 minutes the sides could not be separated, and a tense penalty shootout concluded with Ben Donnelly-Blackburn beating the keeper to earn his side victory.

Rooney praised his side’s attitude and commitment in a difficult environment, as they qualified for the second round of the competition.

“The boys showed resilience and heart,” said Rooney.

“Some of the crowd got onto the lads but we kept playing our way and we got our rewards at the end.

“It was a different type of occasion for us at a different level because they don’t come up against that non-league endeavour and heart week in, week out so it can only benefit us.”

The National League outfit proved more than a match for Town’s youngsters, with Rooney feeling the game could have gone either way.

“We must say a very well done to Guiseley,” added Rooney.

“I felt at any moment they could have nicked it. Their number 9 [Ibrahimi] has got a lot of quality and I thought the left hand sided boy [Hussain] in the first half caused us a lot of problems as well.”

Rooney felt that his side lacked a cutting edge when looking to break the deadlock, despite progressing to the next round.

“We didn’t create enough.

“I don’t think we opened their back four up enough and when we had time around the back we didn’t look like we knew what to do with it.

“We highlighted areas where they were tiring but we didn’t utilise that well enough and that comes down to decision making under the lights.”

Referee Conor Brown dismissed a player from either side following an altercation between both sets players, but Town’s boss felt the incident was dealt with correctly.

“He managed the game well and killed off the edge,” said Rooney.

“I think in that situation you’ve got to even it up because it was a brawl and you can’t highlight one player or the other.

“If he’s sending one off he’s got to send the other.”

Fleetwood will face the winner of Friday’s match between Dunkirk and Tamworth in the second round.

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