Manchester City U18s boss Lee Carsley believes the club’s youngsters have the potential to win a host of trophies - providing they can keep their cool on the biggest stage.
City were confirmed runners-up in the FA Youth Cup for the third successive season on Wednesday after a 6-2 aggregate defeat to Chelsea, who have now lifted the trophy in every campaign since 2014. Carsley understands the frustration but insists that City will be back next year.
He said: “I think we have to focus on the whole occasion of getting over that final hurdle. Once we do one, no matter what tournament, it will start something. The majority of this team have won everything up to this age group so it’s about getting that first cup win and hopefully continuing it.
“I would like to think we’ll get to the final again next season and hopefully we’ll do it then. We would like more games like this.”
View highlights of the first leg of the FA Youth Cup final below...
After a hard-fought draw in the first leg, City were beaten 5-1 at Stamford Bridge and Carsley knows his players weren’t at their best.
“We didn’t turn up and you sometimes get that with young players. There were caught in the headlights a little bit and made uncharacteristic errors in possession,” he said.
“It was very unlike us. When you consider the amount of goals we’ve conceded this season to concede five is very disappointing. Having said that, they were very good and far better than us tonight.
“We spoke about being resilient, organised and hard to beat. We knew we couldn’t give them a goal so to concede a poor one like the early header us on the backfoot.”
Although it didn’t affect the final result, Carsley believes he had to make the alterations.
“We were trying to get a little more of a foothold in the game by getting the ball to them more but it didn’t work because Jadon ended up being a little too deep leaving Lukas slightly isolated.
“I had to make the change at half-time and that was unfortunate on Jacob [Davenport] but we needed to be a little more expansive and get Luke’s pace on the pitch.”
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