Ipswich Town Under-18s' 'brilliant' FA Youth Cup display hailed by manager Adem Atay
Adem Atay heaped praise on his Ipswich Town Under-18s' performance after seeing off Category One outfit Middlesbrough to reach the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals.
It was a joyous journey back to Suffolk from the north east on Saturday after defender Albie Armin struck an 84th minute winner in a 1-0 victory in the fifth round tie.
The winners of Saturday's match between Bristol City and Sheffield United will now visit Portman Road in the last eight on a date yet to be confirmed.
"The result and performance were both brilliant," under-18s manager Atay told the club website.
"We had the best players on the pitch and we played with identity and intensity. We played through the lines and did well in the first half, but didn't manage to get a goal in the first 45 minutes.
"They responded well but we dug deep and showed different qualities in the second half. The best way to describe it is that the lads have done the club proud. They were so professional and I'm so pleased for them.
"Defensively we looked solid and it was a very good team performance. In a way it had everything because we looked dangerous going forward but we also limited their opportunities. The lads worked hard and got what they deserved."
And he confirmed it was a great atmosphere amongst the group on the long drive back.
"The songs and chants were going on the bus back to Ipswich - it was great to see," he said.
"It's so important that the lads enjoy these wins and these moments without getting too carried away, and that's exactly what this group can do."
He added: "It's fantastic for everyone associated with the team and Academy to be in the quarter-finals as well. I know the game will be behind closed doors, but families and friends will all be cheering the lads on from home. Hopefully we can give them another performance to be proud of, because as I said, the lads should be very proud of what they achieved yesterday."
Ipswich are three-time winners of the tournament – only four clubs (Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea) have won it more occasions.
The Suffolk side's most recent success came back in 2005.
Town: Bort, Wyss, Stewart, Baggott, Armin, Humphreys, Alexander, Cutbush, Gibbs, Valentine, Siziba.
Subs: Ridd, Bradshaw, Bello, Agbaje, Chirewa, Barbrook, Manly.
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