Binnion: 'I knew this club was special'
Travis Binnion's immediate reaction to Manchester United's record-extending 11th FA Youth Cup win was to say: "I knew this football club was special, but we've been blown away tonight."
An astounding 67,492 supporters were in attendance as part of a record crowd for the competition - including around 6,000 travelling Nottingham Forest fans - to watch the young Reds mark their names in the history books with a dogged victory over the hard-working visitors.
“We’ve been blown away by the level of support and the level of interest,” Binnion told club media post-match.
“I’m not very often lost for words, but I am a little bit right now.”
Captain Rhys Bennett headed United in front after 13 minutes, getting down low to power home a clipped Sam Murray ball into the box, but Forest levelled just before the break, and then offered a significant second-half threat.
Binnion hailed “the character of the boys to overcome the equaliser” and picked out the defence for particular praise.
“I thought the back-four were immense,” he said.
“[His opposite number] Warren Joyce is a fantastic coach. The way he set this team up, the momentum they’ve built, how hard they work, how organised they are, and they’ve got some quality as well. The amount of pressure they put us under tonight, we knew it was coming, but actually dealing with it, was hard.
“The front players in this competition have had all the credit, loads of plaudits - and he [Alejandro Garnacho] has got two goals again tonight - but the back players were immense, including Sonny Aljofree when he came on, and Maxi Oyedele, when he came on.
“Radek Vitek, throughout this tournament, has been exemplary, and for a 16-year-old boy at centre-half to be unfazed [Louis Jackson], I thought he was outstanding.
“I’m so proud of him and I’m so proud of this football club and the Academy. It’s a remarkable club to be involved with and I think we need to remind ourselves of that at times.”
United’s Under-18s return to action on Saturday, up against Forest again, this time in the league. Until then, let the celebrations continue!