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Furlong: I am so proud of the lads

UNDER 18’s boss Paul Furlong knows that his QPR youngsters should use yesterday’s disappointment in the FA Youth Cup to help with their future development.

Micah Anthony’s first half strike wasn’t enough for the R’s, as two Swansea goals was enough to send the Welsh side through to the fourth round of the famous competition.

However, despite the score line, former striker Furlong knows that his side can take many positives from the game and use the experience as a learning curve – which will only help aid their development as professionals.

“There’s so many positives the lads can take from that, “Furlong told www.qpr.co.uk. “The FA Youth Cup is massive for their growth as players and the performance we put in will only help their confidence grow.

“I spoke to the boys at the start of the day about playing with aggression, passion and intensity. I told them that people up and down the country will be looking at this result and I told them go out there and do them proud.

“I look around the dressing room and everyone is devastated, their heads are down, but I am so proud of them for putting that type of performance in.

“If you look at the chances we created it, we had enough to win the game. It’s the same old cliché in football, if you don’t put the ball in the back of the net, then you always run the risk of defeat. But overall, I am really pleased with the boys.”

Going into this one, Furlong knew the importance of the FA Youth Cup and how different playing in the competition is compared to the domestic league.

“The FA Youth Cup is massive, I know the model we have at our club, we want to win games and I’m not disputing that at all. But when we play in our domestic league it’s about the development and you play in a slightly different way to try and challenge and test the boys all the time.

“Whereas coming into a cup competition like this, it’s about winning the game. You may have to adapt what you would normally do –maybe go more direct, as opposed to going shorter etc. However, it’s a great learning curve for the lads. It’s just unfortunate that the game couldn’t be played in the actual stadium.

Reflecting on the game itself, Furlong can’t take any negatives from our performance, despite the result.

“Both are good footballing sides, but I was quite surprised with the way they tried to go long and in behind us. But when you see the speed they had in forward areas you could see why, but it is what it is.

“We were a little-bit square pegs in round holes at the back, a couple of boys where somewhat out of their normal position. But they acquitted themselves really well and I was really pleased.

“I said to them you have to look at the bigger picture, yes we got beat but let’s look at the positives we can take into future games, we know we can play with a higher intensity and win strong tackles and this has just proved it.”

It’s a great learning curve for the lads and we acquitted ourselves really well.

Paul Furlong