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Gordon previews Accrington clash

Magpies head to Lancashire in Youth Cup second round

12 November 2018

Craig Gordon says he has complete trust in Notts County's Under 18s to execute the gameplan he puts in place for the FA Youth Cup second-round clash with Accrington Stanley on Monday.

After a polished performance earned a 2-1 victory over Walsall in the competition's opener, his young Notts side travel to the north-west with a place in round three at stake.

The lead professional development phase coach anticipates another good display from his side ahead of a potential meeting with a Premier League or Championship club.

“I’m confident and that’s because of the trust I have in my players,” said Gordon. “I know I can rely on them to run their socks off and deliver our game plan, which is all we ask.

“Working hard underpins everything we want to do tactically. Once we match and exceed Accrington’s work rate, we can apply the strategy that we believe will win us the contest.

“It’d be outstanding to go through and get drawn away to a Premier League side but we have to focus on one game at a time, so we’ve tried to prepare in the usual way.”

Monday's match follows Friday's Youth Alliance League fixture against Burton Albion and Gordon says playing two games in quick succession will stand the players in good stead for the future.

“It’s very realistic because it replicates professional careers,” he explained. “Our first team play games on a Saturday and a Tuesday regularly so we’re looking forward to seeing how the lads handle it.

“Monday’s match is a massive game in the calendar and the boys and coaching staff are all looking forward to it.

“They’re great fixtures for the players because it’s not often they can play under the lights in big stadiums and we don’t get to coach or manage in them very regularly either.

“We want to do well for the boys and for ourselves. We know the importance of us collectively doing our jobs to the best of our ability.”

Gordon has faith that his players will respond well to the occasion, with most of them previously playing under the lights.

He said: “A lot of the older lads did it last year and the younger boys got a taste of it when we went to Walsall in the first round.

“The more they play under the lights, the better they will perform because there will be less nerves and Kion Etete and Tyreece Kennedy-Williams have done it for the first team recently.

“I’ve been especially delighted with Kion because after training with the seniors and making his debut at Port Vale, he’s come back to us this week, worked hard and set a precedent for his teammates.”


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