‘I’ve got goosebumps and tingles down my body!’

Ben Cottrell scored a last-gasp winner in our 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, helping us to maintain our place at the top of the U-18 Premier League table. 

The 17-year-old midfielder has had a promising season for Ken Gillard’s side - and over recent weeks he’s improved in the final third, scoring three and assisting three over his last two appearances. 

We spoke to Cottrell after the game – and this is what he said:

on scoring the winning goal…
It’s a mad feeling! I’ve got goosebumps and tingles all down my body! It’s a great achievement for me and it’s a big step on the way to winning the league, so it’s exciting.

on how they were able to turn the game around…
I put it down to hard work. The manager told us at half-time to keep on going and keep doing what we do best. He told us to press them because they will tire. There was desire from everyone. No one had any rest, everyone was working hard. We grabbed three goals in the final five minutes so everyone is chuffed.

on where we lost the battle in the opening 45 minutes…
I think they started sharper than us and they landed on the second balls more than us. We gave them a goal but we kept our head in the game and carried on playing the way we normally do.

on being able to bring Saka and Amaechi off the bench…
It was a massive help and completely changed the game with different dynamics. They couldn’t cope with it. We started off with technical players who came inside and gave them problems, then Bukayo and Xavier came on with pace and power and they couldn’t cope with their runs in behind. They made all the difference in the final five minutes.

on adding goals to his game…
We have reviews with our coaches and they told me to keep on working hard with goals and assists. Playing well is all good but for people who don’t watch the games and look at the stats, it’s important to have goals and assists to benefit your career. 

on who he’s looking to learn from in the U-23s and first team…
A big one for me is Joe Willock because he’s always up and down. He works hard between the boxes and gets himself in the opposition box to score. He’s one I look up to a lot, as well as Aaron Ramsey. I’ve been watching clips of his goals and how he scores them, so he’s another big one.

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