Pat Holland agrees that his under-18 team have grown in stature over the course of their progress in the FA Youth Cup.
On Thursday evening they reached the semi-final stage with a fine 2-0 win over Watford at Vicarage Road, having in earlier rounds overcome Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Everton.
The togetherness of the side - including first year boys, second years and schoolboys - was so evident as the boys got around each other offering encouragement and support during the game. The group stood tall collectively, showing an incredible desire to secure victory.
"Yes, it is a nice competition and we've got the schoolboys involved. We had Radwan Hamed out there, Jamie Davis came on and a few of them are getting a taste of it. It is a great experience for the future.
"At the end of it all, it is lovely to do well in this competition because it keeps the season going and, if you can produce one or two, that is the main thing at the end of it."
Central to the team's cup run has been the magnificent form of the defenders - Philip Ifil, Leigh Mills, Charlie Lee and Mark Wright - who have displayed huge character and resilience, refusing to buckle under great pressure at times.
"We do quite a bit with the back four," added Pat. "I think defending involves a lot of concentration, personally, there are a lot of things go into it and I don't think they get the credit the forwards do and midfield players.
"I enjoy my chats with Noureddine Naybet when we talk about defending because the man is a class act. He always says 'concentration, concentration' and he is right.
"Mills and Lee have been tremendous, they get their body in there they get their bonce in there. They are both good kids and all of them have done well."