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Sheron 'proud as punch' to reach final four

"There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, a really good Academy, some really good people working there and I’m delighted to see some results at the end of it"

7 March 2020

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A beaming Mike Sheron couldn't hide his delight after watching his side produce an outstanding performance to book their place in the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup on Friday night.

A terrific display from the whole team saw Sheron's youngsters storm to an emphatic 4-1 victory over Arsenal at Ewood Park to set up a semi-final date with Manchester City.

Sam Burns' brace opened and ended the scoring on a night to remember for Rovers, with strikes from D'Margio Wright-Phillips and Luke Brennan bagging inbetween.

There was to be a late consolation for the Gunners through Mazeed Ogungbo's effort in the final moment of the game, but that didn't take the shine off a sparkling performance.

“It’s obviously really pleasing to get through," Sheron told iFollow Rovers after the contest.

"The FA Youth Cup is a competition we’re all determined to do as well as we possibly can in. The result was everything we wanted, but the performance was first class.

“We’re delighted as a staff and individuals because they all performed to the plan we gave them to go out with and I’m delighted for every single one of them.

“We kept testing them in these pressure situations, they’re playing against a top six club, no-one expected us to win and we won particularly well.

“Second half they topped it with some fantastic goals. I thought the performance was dominant, the possession, something we try and do but can’t every week because we’re playing against some good players, but the game plan we set out with they have more than completed it.

“We were disappointed to concede at the end, that’s all part of the learning, but delighted to get through and with the performance they put in.

“Proud as punch. I’m here talking but there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes, a really good Academy, some really good people working there and I’m delighted to see some results at the end of it.

“I always wondered if they believed they could beat Arsenal and I felt they did and went out and showed it. I was delighted.”

Into the last four of the competition, Sheron believes the confidence in the camp has improved as the rounds have passed by.

The win against the Gunners has followed on from victories over Newport County, Charlton Athletic and Preston North End, and Mike wants the journey to continue.

“The belief has grown from round to round, week to week, we’ve seen it," he revealed.

“I remember here two rounds ago against Charlton and being really disappointed with the performance and I think the lads were disappointed with us and that we weren’t overly pleased with them despite getting through.

“We felt there was so much more to give and they have grown in confidence and belief and myself and Ryan [Kidd] this week have been thinking they were in a good place.

“The training sessions, the intensity and competitiveness is going up, but the focus and concentration is something with teenagers that it’s not as consistent as it should be, but the lads seem to be in a good place at the minute and I’m really proud of what they produced."

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