Richie Kyle praised Blackpool youth team’s mentality after coming from behind to beat Burnley on penalties and reach Round Two of the Youth Alliance Cup – Northern Section.
The young Seasiders conceded twice either side of half-time but came back through George Lomax’s double with 20 minutes to go – and finished off The Clarets in the shootout.
Pool recorded their fourth straight win as a result and Kyle, Head of Coaching for the youth team, was delighted with the outcome after a performance which bemused him.
“The lads showed great mentality and attitude to come through and win the game in the end,” said Kyle.
“I’m pleased that we’re through. I’m not happy with the performance but I’m pleased that we keep our run going. These lads have got a winning mentality and they don’t know when they are beaten.
“However, I still think we can be better than what we were. I said to the lads that, by half-time, we could have lost the game. We managed to stay in there, though, even when they scored their second and we were under severe pressure.
“I thought the first half was similar to when we played them last time (1-0 victory). We gave them too much respect, too much space and we looked disorganised. It could have been a lot worse at half-time, so I told the lads that we were still in the game.”
Striker Dom Telford came on in the second half at Squires Gate – his substitution sparking a fightback – and assisted Lomax for one of his two goals for Pool in the space of ten minutes.
Kyle believes 18-year-old Lomax’s power made an enormous difference in the search for a comeback.
“George (Lomax) is a handful. He’s a strong, powerful boy and, once he gets into good positions, he can put the ball in the back of the net,” Kyle said.
“His all-round game was good though and he knows he has to work hard to get his chances in front of goal. He needed to be clinical and he was.”
Pool won 4-2 on penalties in the shootout, although Kyle revealed they had been practicing in training during the week.
“You could see the Burnley players’ heads had dropped once the final whistle went, while our lads stepped up and wanted to take a penalty and credit to them,” said Kyle.
“We had a penalty competition in training during the week, so it was good that we practiced them. The standard of penalties in training had been outstanding so that’s why I was confident going into them.”