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INIGO IDIAKEZ ON THE YOUTH TEAM CUP FINAL THIS SATURDAY

29 March 2018

The Hatters' Development Phase Lead Coach Inigo Idiakez believes his side are in the perfect place to go out and win the southern area final of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup when they take on Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

A fantastic run to the final has seen them overcome the likes of Barnet 8-1 and Cheltenham Town on penalties, with the excitement around the youth team dressing room starting to build for the game.

Idiakez said: "I think everyone is ready and is excited about the final. For the last three or four months the boys have been doing really well. I am really confident about the way they are, the way we train and we have prepared really well.

"For me when you work with young players it's about experiences. The cup run gives a good opportunity to experience good times, bad times and dealing with pressure. We spoke about taking penalties and potentially missing them before the semi-final. We then scored all of them and that showed how strong they are now. We have played as a team and they have dealt with the pressures really well."

After joining the Hatters in September, Idiakez feels his team have really kicked on in the last few months, not only enjoying a good cup run but also qualifying for Merit League One. The ex-Derby County midfielder spoke of his pride at how much his side have improved and he believes they are ready for the final.

He continued: "When I signed here, I don't know if all of them were mentally strong enough to compete at a high level. I can see how much they have improved. One of the things that Nathan Jones, Joaquin Gomez and Paul Hart spoke to me about was getting them ready mentally and they have really kicked on.

"We have prepared as well as possible today, we will do some more tomorrow. They all want to play in the final, which is difficult for a coach, but we're all going there with a good mindset and the belief we can win the game.

"I am looking forward to them playing at the Kassam. Ely Way was fantastic in September, but now the pitches have suffered because of the weather and it's not so great. It'll be great to play there on a proper Football League pitch. It should hopefully help us play a passing game. It's not about tiki-taka, it's about being able to create chances and win games. We want to win this competition."

Admission for the 11am kick-off is cash only, £5 for adults and £3 for over-65s and under-18s.


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