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Llera Reflects on Cup Victory for Juniors

3 November 2017

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Youth team coach Miguel Llera has reflected on his side's 3-1 FA Youth Cup victory over Notts County last night.

Strikes from Joel Phillips, Ify Ofoegbu, and an own goal secured the win for the young Spireites as they advanced into the second round of the competition.

It was a win that obviously pleased Llera. The Spaniard said: "I'm proud for the lads. I think they really deserve to be in the next round. The team showed a lot of commitment and desire and it was a great effort."

Llera took time to praise those who found the net. "We scored two really good goals and the second was an own goal, but credit to Joel [Phillips] and credit to Ify [Ofoegbu]," he said.

Despite the excellent performance, Llera was still eager to pull the team up on a number of improvements that he feels they can make. He said: "When we finished the game I thought we could have been more quicker with the ball but the players showed great desire and commitment off the ball.

"I thought they did really well but I have the feeling that in possession we lost the ball too easily. I think we are much better in possession than we showed - but the team performance was great and I give credit to the players."

One aspect that Llera was quick to praise was the defensive display of the team. "I think in general the team defended really well. That's why they couldn't break us and create chances," he explained.

Marshall Willock and Jamie Sharman were both part of that defence, and Llera, a former centre-half himself, was delighted with their contributions. "For me, both of them were Man of the Match. Both of them were brilliant.

"They won every single header, every individual battle with the striker - because we knew before the game that they had a really good player."

The game also gave the chance for Llera to bring a number of U16s into the squad and it was something that gave him great satisfaction. "They are the future," he commented. "They got their scholarships and that's why they are with us. I think they are doing really well and from my point of view they deserve to be with us.

"Conor [Emery] at right-back had a really consistent performance. I'm very pleased for what they did."

Llera, meanwhile, looked ahead to the youth team's game with Grimsby next week, adding: "We need to keep the momentum going. We are going to give the weekend off to the players and from Monday start to train for a tough game in the league. We are in a good position."


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