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WILL RYDER PROUD OF HIS VALIANT UNDER-18 SIDE AFTER NARROW FA YOUTH CUP DEFEAT

3 February 2016

U18 coach delighted with his side’s effort in their extra-time FA Youth Cup fifth round defeat to Manchester City.

  • Ryder: “I’m extremely proud.”
  • U18 coach pleased with how his players stuck to their game-plan against Manchester City.
  • Ryder feels Latics’ academy has come on a long way.
Wigan Athletic’s under-18 coach Will Ryder spoke of his great pride in his players after they were narrowly defeated 3-1 after extra-time by Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday evening.

After Callum Lang opened the scoring in the second-half, Latics were pegged back by a fine William Patching free-kick but could have won the tie late on as Thomas Powell’s header from a superb Alex Lingard delivery was saved by City keeper Daniel Grimshaw.

Goals in extra-time from Lukas Nmecha and Isaac Buckley-Ricketts won the affair for City, though, and Ryder was reflect on the end of a record-breaking FA Youth Cup run for the club.

“I am extremely proud of the players and I told them after the game I was absolutely delighted with them,” Ryder said. “We had a game plan to try and stop Manchester City playing because they have extremely good players and they’re a huge club with a really big academy, the lads stuck to that and applied themselves well.

“We are all gutted, though, because we have run them close and on another night it could have been a different story, it wasn’t meant to be, though.

“Callum has popped up with another goal, he has scored quite a few this season now and we were also jumping up and down thinking we had done it when the set-piece went in in the final minute of normal time and young Thomas Powell saw his header save, that is the highs and lows of football unfortunately.

“The lads are deflated at the moment but they have got to dust themselves off now and go again.

“What we did shows how far we have come as an academy, and there is more to come within this group, they showed that in the last round and they showed it against Manchester City.”

Ryder feels his side have learned a lot from this season’s cup run, with their previous DW Stadium victory against Derby County following wins over York City, Lincoln City and Stevenage in the earlier rounds.

The coach was pleased with how his side lived up to the occasion of playing in front of Latics fans at the DW.

“The FA Youth Cup is all about rising up to the occasion and that is something I have emphasised since round one against York,” he added. “I told the lads to be fearless and go and show what we are all about; there have been a couple of games in there where we have dominated, against Stevenage I don’t think we played well but we got the result, however, in the last two games we have shown what we are capable of against Category One sides.”

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