Chris Beech looks ahead to Wednesday night's FA Youth Cup match at SpotlandRochdale’s under 18s return to action on Wednesday evening as they welcome Sheffield United to Spotland in the second round of the FA Youth Cup.
Chris Beech’s side have had an incredible start to the season and remain in all cup competitions as well as in the title race after notching up thirteen games without a defeat.
Their unbeaten run finally came to an end on Saturday as they went down 3-2 away at Walsall, their first defeat since the opening day of the season.
Beech is full of praise for the youngsters but is mindful that they will have to be on top of their game for the visit of the Blades.
“The team are doing well and they love opportunities to play football. Every game is an opportunity so the more competitions you are in the more opportunities they have to do their thing. They’ve done really well this season and I can’t question their efforts.
“They’re probably the best youth team I have ever coached as a group of people in terms of talent, energy, attitude and ethics. But what happens sometimes is that you get used to what you’re doing and it can become a little mundane so you lose one or two percent and that’s what happened on Saturday against Walsall. It was evident in a couple of players but the performance was excellent and the way the midfield controlled the game was really pleasing to coach, watch and manage. There are still things that we want to iron out but as a whole they’ve done really well. They’ve got to watch however that they don’t shoot themselves in the foot and not over step the mark because without hard work attitude and ethics, talent doesn’t mean anything, so they’ve got to make sure they keep them traits on track and they’ve got a good opportunity to do that on Wednesday.”
He continued: “The game will be a great test for us. Sheffield United will be organised, they'll be strong and they'll be quick. They’re a big club with a big budget and the right facilities, and that has got to be respected. They’ll be the favourites because they got to the final a couple of years ago.
“But we’ve got to concentrate on why we’re doing so well this season, we’ve got try and do what we do best and do that against an Academy team who play football at a generally higher level every week. They’re tested week in week out against the type of opposition that we have to do well in the FA Cup to play against, so the game will be a real challenge and a real good opportunity."
The full interview with Chris Beech is on Dale Player now.