Alex Inglethorpe insisted our Under-18s ‘can play a lot better' after they lit up the Lane with a 3-0 FA Youth Cup win against Sheffield United on Tuesday night.
Jonathan Obika did the damage with a hat-trick and was pride personified as he walked off with the matchball from this third round encounter.
The striker bagged the all-important opener to settle any nerves after 14 minutes and provided cool finishes after 65 and 76 minutes to complete his hat-trick and put the tie beyond doubt.
In charge from the first whistle, Alex's lads found a tough adversary in Kang Ho Lee in the Blades goal and the keeper denied Obika another two goals and made a host of fine saves as we dominated. Ryan Mason also struck the woodwork late on.
"We made hard work of it at times but we persevered and passed the ball well - but we can certainly play a lot better than that," said coach Alex afterwards.
"I guess the fact we've got through what is always a fairly nervous occasion and gone through reasonably comfortably at 3-0 is encouraging.
"You can't underestimate how much of the lads' energy was taken up by nerves.
"A lot of players who I believe are elite athletes, really fit, you could see in the last 10, 15 minutes that they were struggling and a lot of that is down to the occasion.
"Thankfully, we came through it.
"The thing that was most pleasing for us was in the dressing room afterwards where you've got Harry Redknapp, Joe Jordan, Kevin Bond, Clive Allen, Tony Parks - basically the whole first team management team who were there to watch us, that's fantastic."