Richards hails Under-18s' character

22nd January 2015

Under-18s coach Gary Richards praised the squad's character after they came from behind to beat Doncaster Rovers in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday.
The young Swans produced a stirring second-half fightback to book their place in the last 16 and set up a fifth round tie against holders Chelsea.
Doncaster took the lead before half time at Stebonheath Park when Liam Mandeville headed home, but Dylan Thomas scored a superb equaliser on the hour mark.
The Swans were then rewarded for their dominance as Owain Jones grabbed a second following a fine solo run into the box, while the hosts survived a scare in stoppage time as Doncaster struck the woodwork.
The result means the Under-18s are in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup for the first time in three seasons, where they now face a trip to the five-time winners.
"The result shows the resilience we have in the squad," said Richards. "They are all willing to work and graft for each other and that's really pleasing to see.
"The first half didn't quite go as we'd hoped, they pressed us high up the pitch and we fell into a trap of playing too long.
"It was a bit scrappy, we didn't get going and deserved to be a goal down at half time. But we spoke at half time about being a bit braver on the ball and having more control of the game, and the boys did exactly what we asked of them.
"We managed to get it down a lot more in the second half and created plenty of chances. We had to deal with a lot of balls into the box, and had a decent slice of luck at the end as well."
The Under-18s now travel to Chelsea next Wednesday (January 28) in the fifth round, with the game to be played at Aldershot Town FC.
"It will be a great opportunity for both the players and staff," said Richards. "We couldn't think too much about it before this game, but we know that it is always a challenge when we come up against the category one clubs.
"We have a league game against Crystal Palace first which takes priority, but I know the players are all excited about the Chelsea game already."