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Sheron: We gave Gunners too much respect

The Under-18s chief couldn't hide his disappointment after seeing his side crash out of the FA Youth Cup

22 March 2021

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Mike Sheron felt that a lacklustre first-half display proved to be his side's undoing after Rovers Under-18s bowed out of the FA Youth Cup following a 4-1 defeat to Arsenal at Ewood Park.

The Gunners found themselves ahead nine minutes into the match, with Khayon Edwards taking full advantage of a mix-up at the back, before the visitors put themselves in a commanding position going into the break after further goals from Kido Taylor-Hart and Miguel Azeez.

Rovers gave themselves hope within a minute of the restart after Zak Gilsenan fired home, but Arsenal stood firm and put the game beyond doubt after Brooke Norton-Cuffy bagged a fourth in injury time.

“We were disappointed with the first-half performance where we were too passive and gave them too much respect," Sheron reflected after the fourth round defeat.

“It was difficult to watch and to go three goals down through individual errors was also galling for us.

“The third goal was a good strike but the first couple of goals could have been prevented.

“We had nothing to lose in the second-half, we were a lot more aggressive and positive in our play.

“We felt as if we’d given ourselves a shout in the game by getting that quick goal back.

“You never want to go out of the FA Youth Cup with a whimper.

“The competition is great to put pressure moments on the lads, it’s what they need for their development," he added.

“It’s an opportunity missed by us but there were definitely areas we can find positives from.

“But we’re obviously very disappointed to not progress in the competition.”

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