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Melle Meulensteen wants momentum after Fleetwood success

10 November 2016

Preston North End U18s captain Melle Meulensteen is hoping his team can gain some momentum after their 0-2 away win against Fleetwood Town.

Meulensteen crossed for Tom Barry’s opening goal early in the second half before Ki Smart added a second to send the young Lilywhites through to the semi-finals of the Lancashire FA Professional Youth Cup on Wednesday afternoon.

And the midfielder was happy to qualify for the next round of the tournament. He said: “We always want to get the final of any competition. 

“We always want to play well and win, so these games can help us to gain some momentum for the league games as well.

“We dug deep and got another good win which will hopefully allow us to go on and win a few more games now.”

Despite his contribution for the first goal, Meulensteen was more focused on the result than his individual display. He said: “I was happier about getting the goal, it just allowed us to settle into the game. 

“Getting an assist is always good, and one of my targets for the season is to get more of those, but it’s always more important to get the first goal.

However, when pressed on his own performance, the second-year scholar said: “I wasn’t really in the game in the first half and I made some sloppy passes. 

“After we scored I started to get on the ball more and made some good passes and forward runs. When the goal went in we started playing with a bit more confidence.”

The playmaker has started every game for the youth team this season, including the last two, where North End have played in a 3-5-2 formation.

However, Meulensteen explained that his game hasn’t been greatly affected by the change. He said: “My role stays the same because we’ve got three in the midfield; even when we had four at the back there was still three in the midfield. 

“It just allows us to attack a bit more but also to defend well without the ball. We all know our jobs in the midfield three, so it’s just the same.”

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