Travis Binnion, the manager of Sheffield United’s Steelphalt Academy, insisted Bramall Lane’s young players must learn the lessons of their FA Youth Cup defeat at Birmingham City last night.
A second-half goal from Jordan Clarke proved enough to knock the visitors out of the competition at the fourth round stage and, despite missing several chances to equalise, Binnion acknowledged they could have no complaints about the result.
“They were technically better than us and, to have a chance of getting into Chris Wilder’s first team, you have to be good at carrying the ball,” he said. “Although they didn’t create too many opportunities against us, they dominated possession and it would have been a disservice of they hadn’t won. They deserved it.”
Binnion described midfielder Regan Slater, who has been selected twice by Wilder this term, as an example for his colleagues to follow.
“Regan’s work rate was phenomenal,” he continued. “Absolutely brilliant. He showed why he has been involved with the way he went about things. We don’t make excuses for players here and we’re not going to start now. You don’t play for Chris Wilder if you can’t carry the ball.”
United, who have seen the likes of Harry Maguire, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Wales international David Brooks progress through their system in recent seasons, saw George Cantrill sustain an injury during the early stages of the tie at St Andrews before Angelo Capello and Sam Graham went close to cancelling-out Clarke’s 65th minute strike.