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Alan Fleming: When things get tough, we come together

8 February 2018

Alan Fleming hailed the Under-18s' togetherness as they battled from behind to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.

In the previous two rounds, City’s youngsters have conceded the first goal and that theme continued on Wednesday night.

They found themselves 2-0 down after 40 minutes but managed to fight back and eventually lead 3-2 after goals from Anthony Spyrou, Timi Odusina and Fleming.

Newcastle equalised in stoppage time to force the game to extra-time but Spyrou scored his second with 101 minutes on the clock to send the Canaries through to the next round.

Speaking to the local media afterwards, Fleming said: “It was a difficult game but the boys stuck together. Going two goals down wasn’t great but we showed tremendous effort to come together and hold out for the win.

“We appear to get off to slow starts in games but everyone in the team is very close. I guess when it comes to the hard bits in the game and we need to come together, we’re able to do so.

“In the last three games, we’ve done very well to come back from games we were losing. We’ve struggled to get going in the first-half of games.

“We’ll look back at the footage and see where we can improve and that’s definitely something we need to think about in the next round.

“We have to start well early and get on the front foot because if not, we’ll give ourselves another hill to come.

Fleming’s goal on the night was arguably the pick of the bunch. After captain Alfie Payne had booted the ball clear, Fleming showed tremendous skill and composure to beat his marker and coolly dispatch past the visiting goalkeeper.

“We knew they were going to be vulnerable on the counter attack so I just took the ball in my stride and spotted the keeper coming off his line,” Fleming continued.

“I knew there was only one place to put the ball and I used a little bit of creativity. When you play, you don’t normally think what you’re doing – it should all come naturally.

“It’s all about putting in the work on the training pitch and if you work hard, things like that come off.”

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