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FA YOUTH CUP REACTION: Thomas - 'It was a professional day'

16 November 2016

O's boss pleased with all-round showing to secure visit to Premier League champions Leicester

Academy manager Richard Thomas was pleased with his side’s attitude and application after progressing to the third round of the FA Youth Cup after a 7-1 win at Poole Town last night.

Captain Tristan Abrahams and Josh Koroma both netted hat-tricks, while Steven Alzate also got in on the goalscoring act in an all-round solid showing to extend their unbeaten run in league and cup to 16 games.

“It was another good performance,” Thomas told leytonorient.com.

“The lads were again completely focused on what they needed to do and we could have easily slipped up tonight against a team in really good form.

“We gave them a couple of opportunities but each time Poole looked like they were coming back into the game, we refocused. We created so many chances and we played some great stuff, earning ourselves a number of good opportunities.”

Thomas was pleased with the all-round showing from his side, and while the likes of Abrahams and Koroma will steal the headlines with their goalscoring feats, the O’s boss reserved special praise for Pat Adamson.

“Pat was outstanding and he should have a handful of assists to his name tonight but somehow hasn’t got any and he got himself in some good areas,” he added.

“He’s been seven or eight out of 10 every week. He’s not a three one week and a nine the next and that consistency is meaning he is one of our better performers regularly, but across the board everyone did well.

“You are pleased for the goalscorers to keep ticking along, and more so, it is the chances we are making.

Despite the number of chances, Abrahams’ second of the night on the stroke of half-time to make it 2-0 came at just the right time in the mind of Thomas.

“It was important to score the second goal before half time. It is easy to get frustrated at any level when the chances are not going in,” he added.

“You can lose focus and your quality can drop off. We had talked about it in the build-up and we try to prepare the players for all eventualities.

“We needed to stick to it and with the players we have got in the front six or seven we always believe we will put it in the goal eventually if we make enough chances.”

The O’s manager praised the Poole team, saying: “Right to the end you could hear different individuals in their team saying ‘let’s go one more time’ so credit has to go to them for their attitude and application.”

The squad had more than ideal preparation for the fixture in Dorset and Thomas was quick to praise the club for their support.

“We have to thank the club for the backing,” he remarked. “They did it once or twice last year when we had long trips with overnight stays, but they are all for everything we are doing at the youth team level and below.

“We cannot thank them enough for that and the fact that we have had a completely professional day of preparation and to then back it up on the pitch makes it a much nicer feeling.

“It is a choker when you go to all that effort and you don’t back it up, but tonight they certainly have and it is testament to them.

“They have done it before and they are starting to get used to the things that test you - how to carry themselves on days as long as this. Everything about the day was professional and spot on, which is why you sometimes see the outcomes that we have seen tonight.

“The whole day was well prepared and well executed by every member of staff involved. Starting with Ada and Lindsey Martin back at the club the day before Carlos Azevedo preparing our pre match meeting and Josh Birtwistle our physio kept an eye on everyone physically.

Omer's invaluable experience in the competition as a player right through to the cool down and extra session with Mike Amoah and Erbil Bozkurt for the players that we didn't manage to get involved tonight, so we can’t ask for anymore.”

The victory secured a third round tie at Premier League side Leicester and Thomas feels they can go to the King Power Stadium in confident mood.

“The lads want to play a certain way and they are managing to make it happen at the moment no matter who they play,” he said.

“That is ideally what we want to take into the next round and go there full of confidence.

“We are obviously very excited about going to play at Leicester but we'll do our prep work in detail and approach that with the same mental attitude.

“We have earned the right to go there confident and test ourselves against clubs of that nature and stature. It will be a good marker for us.”


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