Interview

‘Flo has the drive where he wants to improve’

Folarin Balogun

Folarin Balogun scored his 12th goal of the season on Wednesday night as we ran out 2-0 winners over Northampton Town in the FA Youth Cup.

The 17-year-old opened the scoring with a cool right-footed finish, before Zak Swanson doubled our advantage in the second half.

Here’s what Ken Gillard had to say after the final whistle:

on how he reflects on the game…
First and foremost because it’s a cup game it’s nice to get through. It was a difficult game as we expected and I know the management team well at Northampton. I’ve come across them a few times so I knew that they’d be organised and hard to break down, but we got the job done in the end so that’s the main thing.

on the most difficult aspects of the game…
I think they sat behind the ball and didn’t give us a great deal of space to play in. They put us under pressure and there were lots of little things that they made difficult for us, but we just had to be patient and eventually once we got the first goal it calmed us down a little bit, then we controlled the game. We had a 10-minute spell in the second half where we lost our way a little bit and made some poor decisions, but then we finished the game strong again, so I’m really happy with our performance. 

on what pleased him most about our performance…
I think a lot of these lads haven’t played in the FA Youth Cup, so it’s a big occasion. It’s always like this and can be really difficult, but I was pleased with the way that we defended set-pieces, especially against a side that can be difficult to deal with. We knew that they would put us under pressure, but we put up with it and coped quite well. Then when we got on the ball in the middle of the pitch we controlled the game really well and showed some great composure.

on Balogun’s fine form in front of goal…
Flo once again took his chance today and he’s been doing really well this season, he’s a constant threat and works tirelessly up there. He leads the line really well and he took his chance really well after a clever interception from Cottrell. He keeps trying snd keeps trying and he wants to work every day, but by no means is he the finished article and he knows that himself. He’s got the drive where he wants to do well and wants to improve, which is brilliant, so I’m really pleased for him.

on keeping a clean sheet…
It was one of the things we spoke about. As a group we thought that if we keep a clean sheet then I’d fancy us to score against anybody. We’ve scored a lot of goals this season, so the really important thing was for us to understand the kind of opposition that we’re up against and the different type of questions that they’d ask of us.

Fixtures

Premier League
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The Emirates FA Cup
Ticket Info

Results

Premier League
The Emirates FA Cup