Under-18s Coach Matt Lawlor spoke to the club after his side battled valiantly throughout their Fourth Round loss in the FA Youth Cup to Bristol City at Highbury Stadium.
Lawlor explained how proud the squad have made the staff, and the club as a whole, as they managed to push all the way to the end in what would be the furthest The Cod Army have ever been in the competition.
Here's what he had to say in his post-match interview:
On the occasion…
“We grew into the game massively, in all honesty I thought we had the better of the second half and the better of extra time but ultimately, we fell short to penalties which was just potluck, but I’m massively proud of the boys today.
“In the terms of the performance, the character, it’s everything we have been working on as an academy, so we’re nothing short of proud of the boys, we’re made up with the character as well.”
“We got to the Fourth Round last year and got knocked out by Millwall, we took it even closer this year with the penalties, but the character we have shown it shows exactly what Fleetwood is about.”
On what to take from the game…
“It’s a tough one to take and It’s hard to gather some words at the moment, but we will reflect on the performance during the week, and we will learn from it and look to get better, I’m really pleased with the boys as they have taken on all our messages.
“It’s a gutting night for them, but we will be back on the training ground, Tuesday, Wednesday because we’re doing well in the league so we can focus on that.
“We’re all ultimately proud of the lads, I’ve only been in charge of the group for three months now, but as staff we’re all proud of the character and how we can implement our game plan, the work rate and energy we have seen we couldn’t be prouder.”
On being proud of the journey…
“There was a 15-year-old out there tonight and the others are 16, 17, 18. Games like these will help their development massively, once they get over this initial disappointment, I’m sure they will all learn from it and build from it, ultimately, it’s a development stage where they can use the fact they have learned that football is a cruel game.
“Regardless of where their journey takes them, they should all be proud of what they have done, these memories will be memories that will live with them forever, even now I can still remember Youth Cup games, they have created something, as a character, as a group that they can hold dear with them as childhood memories.”
Watch Matt's interview on our iFollow HERE.