Sheedy Up For The Cup
U18s excited for Friday's Youth Cup quarter-final, says coach.
Everton Under-18s boss Kevin Sheedy believes previous meetings with Norwich will count for nothing when his side take on the Canaries in their FA Youth Cup quarter-final.
The youngsters have already beaten Norwich 4-2 in Norfolk, while a goal from Gethin Jones and a brace from Callum Dyson helped the Toffees to a comfortable home win in December.
The Blues booked their place in the last eight of the competition with victory over Arsenal back in February and, due to postponements, have not played since their league win at Chelsea in mid-March.
But Sheedy insists his players are fully prepared for Friday evening’s tie at Goodison Park.
“It seems a long time ago since we beat Arsenal but it’s here now and we are gearing ourselves up,” Sheedy told evertontv.
“We had a friendly game the other night against an American team which was a good workout because we have not had a competitive game for two weeks.
“They [Norwich] weren’t at their strongest when we beat them before because, as it sometimes happens, their best players for the Under-18s were playing with the Under-21s.
“Even though we played well and deserved to win, we certainly won’t underestimate them having watched them against Birmingham [in the previous round]. They have got good players and it will be a real test.”
The quarter-final tie also marks the return of former Everton midfielder Neil Adams, who is in charge of Norwich’s Under-18s.
Sheedy is looking forward to taking on his former Blues teammate but is acutely aware he too will be determined to progress.
“I got on really well with him when he was here,” Sheedy said. “I have seen him a few times at different coaching courses and he is doing a good job there.
“Coming back to one of his old teams, he will be keen to beat us and we will shake hands before and after the game.
“If we perform as I know we can do and put in the same effort and work-rate then it will take a good Norwich team to beat us.”
The winners of Friday’s game will face Nottingham Forest in a two-legged semi-final later this month.
Neighbours Liverpool have already booked their place in the in the last four where they will play Chelsea.
Should both teams progress, a mouth-watering Merseyside final is on the cards and although that will be on the players’ minds, Sheedy says they must not let their concentration deter from the immediate task at hand.
He added: “I’m sure all the lads will have looked at the potential for that, but you can’t get ahead of yourself.
“We’ve just got to focus 100 per cent on Norwich and not think any further because sometimes if you do that you slip up.
“We’ve got to remain focused, perform like we can do and I‘m sure if we do that we will go close.”
The quarter-final tie kicks-off at 7pm. Fans can gain entry for £3 (adults) or £1 (over 65s/under 16s). Entry is via the Bullens Road and is cash only on the turnstile.