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ALEX RUES MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Posted on 14 February 2008  - 12:00

Under-18s coach Alex Inglethorpe reflected the disappointment of his side after our FA Youth Cup exit at the hands of Port Vale.

Under-18s coach Alex Inglethorpe reflected the disappointment of his side after our FA Youth Cup exit at the hands of Port Vale.The lads went into the Fifth Round tie on the back of 12 games unbeaten, but as can so often happen in cup competitions, the form book went out of the window in a 1-0 defeat at Vale Park.

Alex feels it was a rare poor performance, but is just ruing the fact it has resulted in us being knocked out of the prestigious tournament.

He said: “We didn’t play anything like we know we can play. We’ve been excellent all season but it’s a just a shame this has happened in a competition we genuinely thought we had a chance of winning.

“In patches we showed what we could do without having too much of the ball and without showing much invention or guile around the penalty box.

“We didn’t pass the ball with any real purpose. We had possession but we didn’t do enough with it - it was all a bit pedestrian. It wasn’t a performance we’re used to.

“But you’ve got to give credit to Port Vale. They caught us cold in the first half and we couldn’t quite find a rhythm after that.”

A crowd of over 2,000 packed into the League One ground, and although Alex feels this may have overwhelmed our young players, he hopes they can learn from the experience.

He added: “This would have been the biggest crowd most of our lads have played in-front of. I think Vale had a couple of lads that play quite regularly for the first team so they would have been a bit more used to it.

“It perhaps unnerved us and I think we looked fearful in the first half. By that stage we were a goal down and we gave an incentive for Vale to hold on.

“If there is to be a silver lining, the players have got to take the experience and put it somewhere in their memory that when they walk out at White Hart Lane in the future, it’s added to the player they’ve become.”