U18s now at home - John previews Fulham test
07 February 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
John McDermott has paid tribute to his counterparts at Fulham for switching Saturday’s Under-18s match to our Training Centre.
We were due to be away in the Barclays Under-18s Premier League, but waterlogged pitches at the Cottagers’ Motspur Park facility have seen the match moved.
John, our Academy Manager, is conscious of the backlog of fixtures facing us – and is thankful that Saturday’s game can now go ahead.
“Their pitch is struggling down there and I think they’d just rather get their players playing and give up home advantage, so all credit to them for doing that,” John said.
“I’d like to think we’d have done the same in a similar situation.”
Fulham, like ourselves, are enjoying a tremendous season in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League and currently sit in top spot, three points above us – although we have a game in hand.
We lost 3-2 to the Cottagers in the FA Youth Cup last week, while we battled to a 2-2 draw in our previous domestic meeting back in November.
But as we get set for another contest, John has played down any talk of the title race being seriously affected by Saturday’s result.
“There’s loads more games left,” John explained. “There’s Under-21 games coming up , there’s tournaments and we’ve got players going away.
“Youth football isn’t like first team football. We’re hoping that players might move up or get a loan or train with the first team. There’s so many other permutations thrown into youth football that don’t exist with senior football that I think to say this is a title decider is wrong and irrelevant.
“At the moment, from the games we’ve played, there’s a draw and one win to them. We know it’s going to be a tight game and hopefully the weather conditions that are being forecast don’t actually come.
“It’s a category A game in terms of quality tomorrow – hopefully it will be of a similar quality to our previous two and with the rub of the green hopefully we’ll do well.”