EDS & Academy

Belief is key for City's FA Youth Cup squad, says Dickov

Paul Dickov says the collective belief shared by City’s Under-18s could prove a crucial ingredient as our youngsters head into Monday's FA Youth Cup final against Chelsea.

The City youngsters booked their ticket into the showpiece occasion with a fine 4-0 win over Blackburn in last Friday’s semi-final.

It’s the fifth time in six seasons that City have reached the final – a testament to the consistency and quality of City’s Academy set-up.

And looking ahead to the final on last weekend’s We’re Not Really Here show, iconic former City striker Dickov was effusive about the talent coursing throughout Carlos Vicens’ squad.

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“I thought the side was outstanding on Friday against Blackburn in the semi-final,” declared Dickov.

“I spoke to Carlos after the game and the most impressive thing for me was after we went 1-0 up when Blackburn made it so difficult to break down.

“They had the patience and the belief as they showed, and they kept doing the right thing.

“Whenever you have Liam Delap, Cole Palmer, James McAtee and all these fantastic attacking players eventually you will tire teams out and get goals.

“And although we won 4-0 in end, I also thought central defender Taylor Harwood Bellis was outstanding on Friday.

“You can see the belief he has got in himself from training with the first team and he has brought that back into the Academy set-up.

“You can see the belief that they all have.”

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It proved an extra special weekend for Academy goalkeeper James Trafford who, less than 24 hours after figuring in our semi-final victory, was then summoned to the City bench as en emergency back-up 'keeper in our first team game at Sheffield United after Scott Carson had been injured in the warm-up.

Dickov believes the experience will only infuse young Cumbrian with extra confidence going into tonight’s showpiece occasion.

“The confidence James will have got from being in the squad on Saturday and on the bench into the FA Youth Cup final will be huge for him,” Dickov added. “What an experience for him.”

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