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Youth Team

McFayden On An Exciting Tie

17 February 2020

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Lincoln McFayden says that the U18s are feeling confident as they prepare to travel to Blackburn Rovers for the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.

It will be the first time PNE have played in the competition away from home this season, their two previous wins over Oxford United and Bristol City both coming at Deepdale.

And the young defender is looking forward to what he describes as a different experience against Rovers, who have a Category One academy.

He said: “I’m very excited for this game because obviously it’s a Lancashire derby and it’s at Ewood Park. It’s our first away game as well so everyone is confident and excited for the game.

“I’ve not played away in the Youth Cup this season or last season, so it’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be a new atmosphere and it’s going to be different.”

North End have suffered back-to-back defeats in February, with a 1-0 defeat to Shrewsbury Town in the league preceded by a 3-1 loss to Rotherham United in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup.

The Rotherham defeat, however, ended what had been a 13-game unbeaten run for Nick Harrison’s side, with an impressive 12 of those being wins.

McFayden said he has been pleased with his own performances since the turn of the year, and wants to carry that form on when North End travel to Ewood Park tomorrow night whilst helping the team return to winning ways.

“The last 3 results haven’t been the best but obviously we’ve got a good team spirit and the training’s been very good so hopefully we’re going to come into this game well.

“I feel like I’ve played well for the last four or five games, and before Christmas I’ve been in good form as well. I’m looking forward to this game, playing well and giving a good performance for the team.

“As a defender, playing left back or left centre back is fine for me. I like defending and I like attacking as well so I can do both, and I just like defending in general.

“We’ve got a lot of talent up front and a great attack and hopefully we will cause them problems.”

With North End fans set to be housed in a separate stand to the home fans, it will be a new experience for the majority of the squad. The second-year scholar believes that will help the side to be even more prepared for the clash.

“It’s going to be probably one of the biggest turnouts that we’ve had. It’s going to be great playing in front of all those fans and it’s going to be a good atmosphere. There’s going to be a lot of people supporting us as well so hopefully we’re going to have a great game.

“Not many of us have had experiences like that so it’s going to be different. We’re going to have deal with it well but it’s going to make us even more ready for the game.

“We’ve gone through a couple of set plays that they’ve done and what we didn’t know to make sure we are alright with them. Obviously they’ve got a few good forward players who are strong and quick players, so we’ve covered all those places.”


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