We take our first steps in this season’s competition off the back of three consecutive wins in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League – the last of which was a 3-0 triumph at Norwich City nine days ago.
Under-18s Coach Kieran McKenna is anticipating a difficult test for the players against Rovers and is looking forward to seeing how our youngsters perform in a straight knock-out environment.
“It’s certainly a game that we all look forward to in the calendar and it’s obviously a different format with it being a knockout competition, played in a first team stadium and in front of a crowd,” he said.
“It brings a unique challenge to the boys in terms of playing in a pressurised environment so it will be good to see the players in that situation and see how they respond.
“In terms of how we’ll approach the tie, it’ll be very similar to our league games. We’ll be focusing on implementing our style. Development is still very much the key and we’ll see how the individuals respond and react to playing in that environment. Hopefully they’ll do so in a positive light and show themselves well to the people who come to watch.”
Eight goals were shared the last time we met Blackburn’s Academy in the opening month of last season’s league campaign – the match ending 5-3 in our favour after a disastrous first 20 minutes saw us go three goals down.
Kieran expects Rovers to be equally ruthless in front of goal this evening, but is naturally keen to see us progress into the fourth round.
“It was an incredible game when we played Blackburn last year,” he added. “We went 3-0 down within 20 minutes, got back to 3-1 just before half-time and went on to win 5-3, so it’s certainly a game that sticks in the memory!
“They were a tough side to play against that day, they had high energy and caused us quite a few problems so I’m sure they’ll be looking to come down and do the same thing tonight and give us a good challenge.”
Kick-off at Dagenham is at 7pm this evening. We’ll have live updates from the game on Twitter @SpursOfficial along with a full report here on tottenhamhotspur.com.