Youth coach Vince Overson on the Bury gameYouth coach Vince Overson spoke to us about the disappointing defeat at Bury on Saturday.
"Saturday wasn't the best performance," he admitted. "Playing underneath the floodlights on the main pitch on Wednesday, in the Youth FA Cup, was always going to lift them to a certain extent. That is a total contrast to going to Manchester and playing in gale force winds on a pitch which was holding a lot of surface water.
"The elements were the same for both teams but I think Bury adapted to the conditions better than we did. Wednesday took a lot out of the lads, physically and psychologically, which we knew it would. It was a new experience for some of the players because it's an absolute adrenaline rush. That takes its toll on the body because you get an adrenaline dump afterwards, which makes it difficult to get going again.
"In all fairness they gave it a good go. We can't fault their work rate and we weren't found wanting in regards to our fitness levels. We looked a little bit sluggish and they won more of the second balls in midfield areas."
"It was disappointing because you want the lads to do well," he continued. "They were on a high because they've had a run of games where they've been getting three points, they won the cup game and we wanted them to continue that. A happy person is a more productive person and it's easier to work with them when they're happy rather than when they're miserable.
"At the start of the season the results weren't going for us so it's nice to see them now that we're picking up results. They're going around the place with a bit of a buzz about themselves."
"The learning curve for them having been through the experience of last Wednesday night is massive," he commented. "You try and compare it to Premier League players, they'll play in the Champions League in midweek then come back and have to play in a not so glamorous league fixture in their mind. They have to deal with that week in, week out.
"Our lads have to deal with playing on pitches which are sometimes poor on a Saturday, then going out onto the main pitch which is their equivalent to Wembley, to then coming back to the conditions we saw at Bury. Emotionally it is a difficult experience, but it's a valuable learning tool. They'll know what to expect when they play in the next round against Doncaster."
"The Cumberland Cup game on Saturday will be another different experience," he said. "Without being disrespectful to Aspatria, their pitch won't be as good as we're used to but it will be the same for both teams. Our lads are full time, so we would expect to be fitter and better technically and again that's without being disrespectful to Aspatria in any way. They're playing against men so they'll have to handle that and whether or not they're intimidated by it we'll have to see on the day.
"The Doncaster game will come around quickly after that and the lads will be looking forward to playing under the floodlights again. It's a case of being able to handle the various different environments. I would love the lads to play on the main pitch more often, it's a great experience for them and if they're going to make the step up to the first team they'll have to get used to playing out there."