Wilshere: "This group has something special"

Jack Wilshere praised his side’s special team spirit as we fought back from behind in the second half to beat Cambridge United 3-2 and clinch our spot in the FA Youth Cup semi-finals for the first time since the 2017/18 season.

Ethan Nwaneri’s thunderous opener was cancelled out by an unfortunate own goal that took us into the break level. The visitors took the lead midway through the second half but Amario Cozier-Duberry’s instant response from the penalty spot brought us back on terms.

We scored our winner in dramatic fashion two minutes into injury-time when Michal Rosiak slotted home his close-range effort from a pinpoint Lino Sousa cross, and Wilshere was thrilled that his team overcame adversity when going a goal down. 

“This is a special group of boys," he said. "We showed that spirit that I keep talking about, a fire that wins you games and we’ve seen that against Newcastle, Watford, and now tonight. We need to be better if we want to win the cup, but keep that fire and we will have a great chance.

“There’s a massive team spirit and unity to the group. It gets us through the tough moments.” 

The under-18s head coach rounded off by thanking the supporters for creating a special atmosphere for himself, the staff, and the players and encouraged them to return to Emirates Stadium, should we get a home tie in the semi-final.

“The crowd was brilliant tonight, for the boys," he said. "It’s a massive step in their development as many of them have not experienced an atmosphere like that.

“Hopefully we get a home tie in the next round and the supporters will come in their numbers again as they help the players so much.”

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