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CLIVE'S PRIDE

Posted on 5 May 2006  - 12:00

Clive Allen did not allow play-off defeat to detract from his delight over what has been a superb season for his reserve side.

Clive Allen did not allow play-off defeat to detract from his delight over what has been a superb season for his reserve side.

Our young group fell to a 2-0 reverse against a strong Manchester United side at Old Trafford and two goals - from captain Gerard Pique and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - scored in three first half minutes effectively ended the contest before the break.

Clive acknowledged that the team's play did not really click into gear on the night.

"That's right, it was a big occasion for a lot of the lads and I am just delighted they have had the experience," he reacted afterwards.

"For a lot of them it is the biggest game they've played and for their education and development it was fantastic for them. I am not going to take anything away from Manchester United, it was a great way to measure ourselves and the boys certainly gave a good account of themselves in the second half.

"We are disappointed we haven't reached the standards we've set ourselves throughout the season, but it takes nothing away from what we have achieved and what we've done.

"It was a great occasion, disappointing result, but we have got to look back on our season with a great deal of pride."

The demands of the first team squad denied Clive the services of a number of his more seasoned regulars, but he viewed delving into the younger element for his team selection as a positive factor overall.

"It gave an opportunity for a number of our Academy boys who have played a few games this season to come and play on this stage. I am delighted with that and you see a lot when they are playing in this sort of environment, under this sort of pressure and they will be all the better for the experience.

"We took the game to them as we have done all season and had one or two half chances - for that I am going to give the lads a lot of credit.

"I am thrilled with what they have done this season, the feeling here we haven't felt too often, but they have had a great year and I am happy we've had the chance to come and play at Old Trafford."