Neil Ryan.

U18s boss Ryan relishing 'romantic' tie with Leeds

Manchester United Under-18s lead coach Neil Ryan was proud of his players' performance in the convincing 2-0 win at Norwich City in the FA Youth Cup.

The Reds were good value for the victory in a game shown live on MUTV, as second-half goals from Charlie McCann and Teden Mengi secured a fifth-round home tie with Leeds United.

A crowd of 3,421 were in attendance at Carrow Road, creating the sort of atmosphere that will be vital in the development of the youngsters.

Ryan proud of his troopsVideo

“We've just spoken to the lads and I'm really proud of the spirit they showed,” Ryan told MUTV. “It was good they took on the messages for what we wanted to do tactically as well against them.

“We knew it was going to be quite tricky with the wide men and the way they play as they come inside. We had to deal with that and they applied themselves really well.

“We've been training for a good three, four or five days with what we wanted to do and we executed the plan quite well really. I'm proud of the spirit we've shown as well. It was a really tricky tie this, coming away, and we didn't under-estimate them at all. We knew they'd be a threat and I'm pleased. 

“We spoke about how this is what we want, to put the boys into this environment of stadiums and crowds,” he added. “It was not a huge one but a good one and there was noise there and it's about being able to play under these little pressures that they can build in their head.

“Being at this club, it comes thick and fast, where you're playing in front of crowds, but they all stood up to the test. From the kick-off, we controlled it really well and I'm pleased with the group. The boys who came off the bench applied themselves well too.”

FA Youth Cup: Norwich 0 United 2Video

Leeds are up next, in round five, evoking memories of the 1993 FA Youth Cup final, when the Yorkshire side won 4-1 on aggregate, with a team containing the likes of Noel Whelan and Jamie Forrester overcoming a United side boasting Paul Scholes, David Beckham and the Neville brothers, among others.

“It's a tasty one,” admitted Ryan. “Definitely a romantic one for a Manchester United fan. It's going to be tough and another really exciting night hopefully.

”We'll dust ourselves down and get the date of the game sorted out and be ready to go. We'll have the lads ready and it's exciting to be in the next round. We want to keep the run going.

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