U18 PD Coach on Youth Cup win over Man Utd
Huddersfield Town’s Professional Development Coach Frankie Bunn was an understandably proud man after the Under-18s ran out 2-1 winners over Manchester United in the FA Youth Cup tonight.
First-half goals from Ben Atkinson and Jake Charles were enough to see Town dismiss the 10 time FA Youth Cup winners out of the competition in deserved fashion.
“We told the boys that not many people outside the dressing room would think they had a chance tonight, but we were quietly confident coming into the game,” Frankie told htafc.com.
“We knew their strengths and we dealt with them; they have very good players like Wilson and Pereira. We dealt with that threat and we got our just rewards. We worked hard – I thought our shape was excellent throughout the game – and we limited them to very few chances.
“We always say that defending starts with the front men and I thought the players right through to the backline were outstanding.”
When James Wilson pulled United level in the first-half Town fans might have feared the worst, but the young Terriers showed no fear and restored their lead through Charles’ penalty.
“We responded superbly well. We took the lead and settled into the game, but then we didn’t deal with one ball over the top to their major threat, James Wilson.
“However, the way we bounced back from that was terrific. I remember speaking to the website after we lost the League Final at QPR and saying that the players would keep going regardless of the scoreline and that showed again tonight.”
United enjoyed a lot of possession in the second-half, but Town still created the best chances – with Charles going close when well positioned twice.
Bunn continued: “Being greedy, my one regret of the evening was that we didn’t keep the ball well enough in the second-half. We still had some great passages of play to create some very good chances, but we disappeared a bit and relied on our defensive duties.
“Football has a habit of biting you on the backside, especially when you are on top, and if you wanted the ball to someone it would be Jake Charles. He’s in double figures this season and you can’t take that away from him and the good sign for me was that he never shied away after he missed – that showed mental toughness.
“I thought our players looked mentally strong and physically fit against a very good Manchester United team.”
Frankie believes tonight’s occasion will have been a big step forward in terms of the development of the Town players:
“In terms of the development of our players, I don’t think it gets any better than nights like tonight. Although it was against players their own age, this was very similar to First Team football in terms of the preparation, the build-up to the game and the excellent crowd. To play against top class opposition and to come through it will be something you can’t replicate in terms of their education.”
Bunn was also pleased to put on a show for the sizeable Town following in attendance – in particular one man!
“The Chairman has been in the dressing room after the game. Every time he has come to watch us we have lost, so I’m pleased for him! He’s heard a lot about us and has been disappointed at some of our games, but tonight I could see he was a proud man. I’m sure everyone connected with the Club will be proud of the boys as well.”
Town can now look forward to a Sixth Round tie at Manchester City or Fulham, who play their Fifth Round tie on Wednesday evening.
“It’s another fantastic tie. We’ve talked about the education and development of the players and it doesn’t get better than this in that respect. The FA Youth Cup is the icing on the cake and to have a run is terrific, but we have our normal games programme and we’re still in touch in two competitions, which is fantastic for Huddersfield Town.”