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Dave Huzzey: Teenage Blues will have to step up against Newport County tonight

25 November 2015

Huzzey expecting difficult test against Newport, with the winners playing Blackburn Rovers.

Southend United U18s travel to Newport County this evening seeking to progress to the Third Round of The FA Youth Cup for the fifth time in the past decade.

Blues warmed up for the fixture with a close-fought 1-0 defeat at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday morning, and youth team coach Dave Huzzey was intent on focussing on discontentment with that performance before looking forward to the trip to Rodney Parade.

“We had to make sure we were disappointed by that result for longer than an hour. We needed to be disappointed by this result until Monday morning and we needed to reflect on that game before we even started thinking about Newport County,” he said.

“However, the boys are looking forward to it. I think you could see some of that, maybe a little prematurely, against AFC Wimbledon, but it will be a different test to the Barton match. The FA Youth Cup is something that the boys thrive upon. The build-up is always a big thing for them, so now we’re looking forward to it.”

And, despite that reverse against the Dons, Huzzey doesn’t believe the squad will be affected by their most recent result: “We lost against Bournemouth before we beat Barton and then we beat Northampton before the replay, so we’ve gone into The FA Youth Cup having both lost and won.

“I’m looking for a reaction from the boys. I think it’s a good thing that there’s not a lot of time before the game because some of the young boys can get a little bit nervous about The FA Youth Cup, but they can’t afford to because they’ve got to concentrate on what they’ve got to do and how we’re going to win the game,” he added.

And Huzzey feels that, after overcoming non-league opposition in the First Round, facing the youth team of a League Two outfit represents the perfect step-up for the squad. The winners will journey to Blackburn Rovers in the Third Round, but the coach is refusing to get carried away and will only allow his team to concentrate on their opposition this evening.

“It’ll be a good experience for the boys. Newport were in the first-team’s league last year, so they’ll be having similar games and similar experiences to that of the first-team, and that’s what development football is all about. A Third Round tie at Ewood Park would be massive, but we’ve not looked forward to that.

“Newport is going to be a real tough test for us and we have to make sure that we take every game as it comes. It would be a brilliant experience for the boys and a brilliant experience for us as a coaching staff and for the entire club. Even though we’re concentrating on Newport, I’m sure it’s at the back of the boys’ minds,” he concluded.

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