Callum McKenzie reflects on Town's victory against Port Vale which sees them through to the next round of the FA Youth Cup
Town battled hard against Port Vale youngsters to earn themselves a second-round tie against Sunderland. A Tom Davies goal in the 36th minute proved the difference between the two sides. Callum McKenzie spoke to Shrewsweb shortly after the final whistle and offered his thoughts on the game.
“The most important thing tonight was to get the win, it’s a cup game, we probably haven’t done as well as we should have done over the last couple of years.
“The performance wasn’t probably at the levels we would expect or want but we got through to the next round that’s the most important thing.
“We played them two or three weeks ago and it was a completely different type of game, I think the occasion got to the players a little bit, there were some nerves as can be expected.
“We settled after 20 minutes and found a bit of a groove, we got the goal which I thought was deserved, we were on top at that stage. I think the main thing was finding a way to win in the end.”
“It was a little bit edgy towards the end as you can expect we were only 1-0 up. The Youth Cup is a big thing for all the players, there’s a big build-up and they build it up in their minds, 1-0 up with 10 minutes to go we probably sat a little deeper than we would have liked, we made a few errors in the middle of the park, that was probably an issue throughout the game, there were too many transitions.
“We showed some good resilience, our two centre-halves defended the box well, not that they were under great pressure but when they had to defend they did it effectively.”
Town’s victory meant that they had earned a home tie against Sunderland, which Callum and the team are already looking forward to.
“It’s a good reward for the players, it’s a big game, when we saw the draw that we could play either Tranmere or Sunderland that was the game we wanted because you get to see the boys playing against top, top players. We played against them three or four years ago in the third or fourth round. We lost the game 2-1 and missed a penalty. It was good to see the players give their all as these sort of games can make and break players careers with the Manager and Chairman watching, a good game in these particular matches might be the difference between getting a contract or not.”