Final countdown for U21s
Chris Ramsey sees tonight’s Barclays Under-21 Premier League Final at Old Trafford as ‘a fantastic opportunity’ for the squad.
The players travel to the Theatre of Dreams as deserved finalists after an outstanding campaign.
After losing the first two games of the season at Newcastle and United – trailing 5-1 at half-time at Newcastle in August seems a long way away now – the squad put together a total record of 16 wins and just three more defeats over the first two phases of the Barclays U21 Premier League.
That saw them win National Group Two of the first phase of the competition and then the Elite Group in phase two – registering an incredible 77 goals along the way.
Last week, they booked a place in the final in thrilling style with a last-minute winner from Jon Obika to beat Everton 3-2 at the Lane. Meanwhile, United toppled Liverpool 3-0 at Old Trafford.
“It’s just reward for all the hard work the players have put in this season,” said Chris, our Senior Professional Phase Coach.
“From a development point of view, it’s an ideal scenario, the final match of the season is a final at Old Trafford and this is the last building block in the players’ development this season.
“It’s a fantastic test and we’ll now see how the players respond. As is always the case with any final, I’m sure some players will really rise to the occasion.
“It’s a pressure environment and the players will be putting pressure on themselves to go out and perform as well. We just hope they do themselves proud and most of all, enjoy it.”
Development, rather than results, remains the key phrase for the squad.
“The players have progressed through the season but the fact is we have a way that we like to develop the players and we’d like to play and we don’t like to move away from that, as you would see,” explained Chris.
“In the first game of the season, we lost 6-4 at Newcastle and we wouldn’t just change (the way we play) because of that result.
“We kept doing what we wanted to do. Whether or not that’s right for some of the players coming through, we’ll wait and see, but we have a development plan and we stick to it.”
We'll have live coverage from Old Trafford via @SpursOfficial on Twitter, plus report and photographs later here on tottenhamhotspur.com...
Kick-off is 7pm.