McPhillips urges Blackburn Rovers youth star to fight for first team spot (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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McPhillips urges Blackburn Rovers youth star to fight for first team spot
TERRY McPhillips insists it is only “job done” when his players have progressed into Blackburn Rovers’ first team – after insisting reaching the FA Youth Cup final was just the next step.
Blackburn Rovers’ under 18 boss was full of pride for his side’s run to the final, having sealed a 3-1 aggregate semi final win over Burnley on Wednesday, but insists the process is “ongoing”.
Rovers’ starlets will now face either Manchester United or Chelsea in a two-legged final, with United 2-1 trailing after the first leg, but McPhillips insists it is all about producing first team footballers.
He said: “The real job is to get players into the first team. The experiences the lads will have got from these two games will hold them in good stead.
“It is nights like these you learn loads about the lads, like temperaments and how they can handle the crowd, the pressure and the excitement. It is certainly not job done because it is ongoing. We are playing Leeds away on Saturday “Manchester United and Chelsea are massive clubs but we look forward to playing either of them.
“We will have to be at our very best if we are to do anything in either game.
“Last week’s first leg experience was unique to them. The crowd was electric and at half time the lads were subdued. It was strange. After the game it looked like they felt as though they had lost.
“They were disappointed with the performance. We were all the better for that.”
Under 18s skipper Ryan Edwards scored Rovers’ second goal on Wednesday night and is now relishing a final against either United or Chelsea.
“We came into the game and knew it was a big rivalry,” he said. “Everyone has been telling us we couldn’t lose because of how far it has gone.
“Seeing it through, everyone has been terrific. We were a bit disappointed after the first leg but we have paid the fans back for that.
“Now we have reached the final, we are hoping a big crowd at Ewood will turn up again. We have seen a lot of Manchester United and we know we can beat them but we are very confident whoever we play.”
Meanwhile, Terry Pashley has encouraged Burnley’s Under 18s to use their FA Youth Cup semi-final disappointment to spur them on to league success.
But having won their last 12 games in the league Pashley is urging them not to let their Youth Alliance title hopes falter and use their two games in hand to topple Preston North End, who lead the table by two points.
“We’ve still got a job to do,” said the youth team coach.
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