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Youth Team Fired Up For Gunners

Coventry City's academy coach George Mackie has spoken of his admiration for Arsenal ahead of tomorrow's FA Youth Cup final second leg.

The City youngsters trail by 3-1 after the Highfield Road tie last week, and Mackie believes that despite the Gunner's ability the Sky Blues could still snatch victory.

He said:

"I think the whole club have a great work ethic now at Arsenal, and certainly that is carried through to the youngsters by Don Howe.

"Arsenal will always have the choice of the best kids because of their high profile and we are, to a certain extent, trying to emulate that.

"We've got a bit to go to reach that profile but the academy system is working very well at the moment."

And although Mackie will be concentrating on his own side, he has already recognised who will be the key figures for Arsenal.

He said:

"People will concentrate on Jay Boothyroyd because he got a couple of crosses in and he looked good in the first game, but for me their centre-back John Halls was the outstanding player on the pitch.

"We won't pick out individuals though, we will have our own game plan and we will concentrate on that because we are very confident of getting a result down there."

Mackie has hailed the spirit of the Coventry youngsters after watching the way they reacted to their second successive year of facing a first leg home beating in the final.

He said:

"We had to pick them up a wee bit but to be fair they are a very buoyant bunch and having gone through what they did last year they don't see this as a significant defeat.

"For the second leg they are still happy about what they are doing and are confident going into the tie.

"The goal we scored at the end was very significant and getting that has given the boys a real lift.

"Both last year and this our results and performances away from home have been better and we are hoping that will also be the case on Friday."
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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 10 May 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM