Pashley looking forward to cup test at Theatre of Dreams

Terry Pashley
Terry Pashley

CAMERON Howieson experiences Old Trafford for the second time in just over four months tomorrow night.

And Terry Pashley hopes his experience - and the likes of Jason Gilchrist and Luke Conlan - will inspire Burnley in their FA Youth Cup tie at Manchester United (kick-off 7 p.m.).

Howieson, not 18 until later this month, was a late substitute as New Zealand drew 1-1 with Egypt in the Olympic football tournament at the Theatre of Dreams at the end of July.

He makes a rapid return tomorrow, having helped the Clarets reach the cup semi-finals last season alongside fellow first-year professional Conlan and Gilchrist, a second-year scholar.

Their run to the last four started at Boston United this time last year, and there couldn’t be a bigger contrast at Old Trafford.

Pashley said: “We’re looking for people like Cammy and Jason and Luke to help those boys along because they’ve been through it before. We’re looking for them to be the leaders in the team.

“Hopefully it will be a good game and our lads do themselves justice.

“That’s the one thing we’re looking for. No ifs, not buts no excuses.

“Kick-off time is 7 o’clock, we turn up for 7 o’clock.

“Our boys will be nervous but I’ve no doubt a few of their boys will be very nervous playing at Old Trafford for the first time as well.”

A particularly young side shouldn’t be judged against last year’s exploits, however, as Pashley explained: “We started the season slowly but I said that would be the case. I said not to judge them until the new year or even next season. Because we’ve not had the second year quota to help these lads along, they’ve had to find their feet themselves.

“United’s team won’t be much different from last year’s, and next year’s won’t be much different from this year because they keep churning it out year on year, and that’s our aim. This time next year our squad will be exactly the same as it is tomorrow, because of the schoolboys coming through.

“All we’ll lose are the three second years, so we may be better equipped next year, but it’s a great experience for them to know what it’s like to play in a big stage, in big games and play under pressure.

“Everybody has to play under pressure as our first team showed on Sunday. We’re trying to produce players who can play in that environment and show what they’re capable of, in front of 22,000 when emotions are high. If you can still keep your head and play under pressure and make good, solid, sound decisions out on the football field.”

And he added: “This time last year we started with Boston away, now we start with Manchester United away, so it doesn’t get much more difficult really. You just hope that the boys turn up on the night and don’t freeze.

“We know they can play but we will have to defend well as well.”

Luke Gallagher and Luke Daly were also involved in the run last season - with wins at West Brom and Fulham along the way, and Pashley noted: “A few of the lads played on big stages with us last season, but it will be a first taste for a lot of them.

“We’ll be taking a few of the Under 16s schoolboys, which will be a great experience for them.

“There’s a chance that one or two might even play, but certainly three or four will be on the bench.”

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