Preston North End youth team centre half Tyler Williams reflected on his side’s FA Youth Cup defeat to Blackburn Rovers and admitted it was something they can learn from.
Speaking after the late loss to their local rivals, the defender told iFollow PNE that it would ‘hurt’: “It is a tough one to take, but we are all young players; it is a learning curve, especially for players like Ben [Dooley] – it is something you have to work on and develop,” said the 18-year-old.
“For now it is going to hurt, but it is not going to last forever, we just have to get our heads focused and move on.”
Tyler was called into the first team squad for the FA Cup third round tie with Norwich City and although he wasn’t included in the final 18, he says the last couple of months have been excellent opportunities for him to develop his game.
“I’ve had quite a good time of it the last couple of months,” he continued. “The first team experience has helped move my game further on.
“I am just trying to work on improving myself, but also be a good team player and we have to move on from this and try and continue this, try and get back to the top of the league and do everything we can to succeed.”
On the game, he was pleased with the group’s efforts and felt they deserved something from the game.
“It was a great goal from Ethan [Walker]. He is a great player; the way he cuts inside and can shoot with both feet, it is unstoppable at times and he set the tone for the rest of the game. The boys did well with aggression and passion, but when we went down to ten men, we just couldn’t hold on.
“Nick [Harrison] told us what to expect. We knew they would come out hard at us and we had to come out even better, because we knew Blackburn were a great team. They would have been told to come hard at us and we showed what we were about in both halves and it was just a shame that we could not carry that through the full game.
“The red card is something for Ben to learn from; whether it is a sending off or not, it is something he just has to look back on and take. It was going to be a tight game whether we had ten men or 11 – it was always going to go down to the wire, but we have to learn from it.
“Brian [McManus] and Tyrhys [Dolan] set the tone to go and attack, irrelevant of how many men we had on the pitch. We weren’t going to sit off and take the loss, we had to try and go forward with the ball and Brian did well to get in a scoring opportunity at the end. It is a disappointing result, but we had the positive of creating those chances.”
As a former Burnley Academy man and now a PNE player, Tyler was well aware of what to expect from a local derby, but was buoyed by the support from the terraces and now wants to get back to working hard for an important few months.
“I have seen what the rivalry is about having come through at Burnley and through my time here, so I always wanted to perform in these kind of games and prove a point to people.
“It was a great showing from the fans as well and it was good for the young boys, who may not have experienced that before. Playing against Blackburn was something that was easy to get up for.
“It is a big time for everyone, not just the second years, because if we don’t work for the first years, they won’t work for us.
“Overall as team we have to forget about this as quickly as possible, especially the second years, who have the pro deals to play for. You can’t let this mentally destroy you, you just have to keep going and give everything,” he added.