‘ALL the world’s a stage’ according to playwright William Shakespeare. Terry Pashley is looking for his youth team players to thrive again on one of the biggest English football has to offer, and play right.
Having signed off 2012 in unforgettable style by knocking Premier League giants Manchester United out of the FA Cup third round – with Jason Gilchrist scoring a hat-trick in a 4-3 extra-time win at Old Trafford – Burnley were handed the trickiest of fourth round ties, away to Manchester City.
But after finding out only this week the game will take place at the Etihad Stadium – after the weather ruled out the use of Hyde United and Stockport County as alternative venues – Pashley insists the fixture should hold no fear for his young charges.
“We’ll be saying to the boys ‘don’t look at the shirt or the badge, take those boys out and put them in another shirt and you’ll look at it differently’,” said the 56-year-old.
“Sometimes you just build it up too much.
“They’ve got two arms, two legs, cut them and they bleed – just like the rest of us – so let’s just go and have a go. Our lads will do that. “What will happen, I haven’t got a clue, but I know one thing and that is they’ll have a go and they will look to play, and hopefully it will be good enough.
“They will be better for the experience of what happened at Old Trafford, without a doubt. They will be better prepared. But it’s a different game so we can’t think about the last one. It’s history, it’s gone.
“I told them that two days after the game.
“We should have had two more games after that before the Christmas break but they were cancelled because of the weather.
“When you go to Manchester United and win everyone will tell you how good it was.
“It was hard work and it was hard fought. To go to Old Trafford and score four goals you can’t call that a fluke. But we can’t live off it.
“The boys have to produce that same level.”
He added: “It’s a different game, different occasion and as I’ve said to them nothing less will do than what we produced at Manchester United.
“If anybody’s playing to a level less than what they did on that night we could get found out.
“It’s going to be tough, they’ve got some good players and some great resources, but we will approach it in exactly the same manner as we did the last game and last year.
“They have to, that’s the nature of football.”
Confirmation that the game will be played at the Etihad has, says midfielder Cameron Howieson, put an extra spring in the players’ steps.
“I’m looking forward to the game, especially as it’s at the Etihad Stadium. The boys were off their seats when we heard and texting their parents,” said Howieson, one of only three second year scholars involved tonight.
“It’s a big step up. We’ve played at Old Trafford but this will probably be even better because it’s newer.
“Hopefully we will get some fans there and it will be good.”
The New Zealand international, who has already signed a professional deal with the Clarets, and made his debut from the bench towards the end of last season, added: “You get a buzz through your body knowing you’re on a bigger stage with more people watching.
“Everyone’s going to step it up and be on their best performance and playing at their peak against a good side like that. We beat Manchester United but we have to go into the game as we did against United. If we do that I think we have a really good chance of winning.”
The game is a 7pm kick off and is free to attend for Burnley season ticket holders. For non-season ticket holders it is £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.