Chris Hughton says he has been 'very impressed' with the performances of our under-18 side in reaching the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup in which they take on Ipswich in the first leg at Portman Road tonight.
Pat Holland's team enter the last four stage having overcome some significant obstacles so far - winning through with some stirring displays against Nottingham Forest (1-0), Liverpool (1-1, won on penalties), Everton (2-1) and Watford (2-0).
"I have to say I've been very impressed with them so far and it's not as if they've been easy games," said Chris. "We've certainly had a solidness about the team and they thoroughly deserve to be where they are.
"I gather it will be against very difficult opposition in Ipswich, a number of their under-18 players featured for their reserves against us last week. Our Academy department are very much aware that it is going to be a tough game.
"There are some individuals who have done well but, for me, the biggest thing is that they have been a good team."
A good team who have bought a lot of pride to the club and Chris reasons a progressive youth set up is vital in this day and age.
"It all means a lot to us as coaches and it is a wonderful thing for the club. These days, where everyone is desperately looking for the good young players, there is more pressure on Academy teams. For the team to get to the semi-final - and hopefully further - is a wonderful boost for the club."