Academy boss Darren Edmondson gave us his reaction to the FA Youth Cup first round victory over Prescot Cables at Brunton Park on Monday night.
“We’re pleased with the result, but I think we can play a lot better,” he said. “It’s important to get the first goal in this type of game because that can nullify the enthusiasm that the FA Cup can bring to teams from a slightly lower level.
“I thought we controlled the first half without playing brilliantly. We got into good areas around their penalty box, but the final pass wasn’t quite there for us. That meant we weren’t able to get the second goal and that will have given them something to aim at.”
“The good thing was that we started brightly in the second half,” he continued. “We’d spoken to them about it during the break because we needed them to move the ball much quicker than they had been doing. We used that chat as a chance to give them a little kick up the backside and they responded well.
“Some of them had been guilty of taking three, four and even five touches and that allows the opposition to get closer to you. Once the lads got on top of that it brought them two or three excellent goals.
“The goal we scored right at the start of the second half certainly helped, because it settled us down. We had it in the front of our minds that if they’d scored the second goal of the game it would have opened the cup tie right up.
“As it was we got two very close together and that killed it off. We got some good ones in the end and the fourth one in particular was a great passage of play. All you can do is work on things in training and when it comes off it’s good for everybody.”
FA Cup nights always bring their own edge and Monday night was no different.
“You have to bear in mind that the lads get nervous when they’re in front of a crowd and on the main pitch,” he commented. “That’s why it’s important to play the game high up the pitch and get settled into a rhythm.
“When Sam [Adewusi] scored the first goal you could see how much it meant to the group, but that’s how it should be. They’re playing for Carlisle United so it should mean a lot to them. Every game is a must-win at professional level and they have to get used to that.”
“This was always going to be a tough game so just to come through it is great,” he added. “With the way the draw is made we knew ahead of kick off who our next opponents could potentially be, if we did things properly, and that possibly added to the nerves.
“Credit to Prescot because they kept going and they deserved their goal in the end. They worked exceptionally hard and they put us under pressure whenever we had the ball.
“It was played in good spirits and they’ve had a great FA Cup run. Hopefully they’ll have enjoyed the experience of playing at our stadium and they’ll take some good memories away from it.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Darren Edmondson on iFollow United now.