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"We were the real winners. A fantastic night for the Academy and the club." - Coventry City's Jason Farndon

16 February 2016

The City Under-18s coach has also praised the support the young lads received at the Ricoh Arena in a dramatic night...

Coventry City Under-18s coach Jason Farndon has lauded praise on his side following their heroic FA Youth Cup exit against Arsenal.

The Sky Blues were huge underdogs coming into the game against the Premier League giants but took them all the way to penalties after Jak Hickman's first-half strike and Bassala Sambou's dramatic last-minute equaliser in extra time.

City lost 7-6 in a dramatic penalty shoot-out which was watched by 1828 fans at the Ricoh Arena as City were denied a quarter-final berth.

Farndon believes his side were the real winners in the game last night given the huge gulf in finance and infrastructure between the two clubs.

The Under-18s coach said: "We're absolutely delighted with the lads tonight, they've given their all and represented this club with a pride and passion we should all be proud of.

"I said to Richard Stevens before penalties that we are already the winners tonight because to take Arsenal this far is a real achievement.

"They spend millions on their Academy and it was out there on the pitch and our lads matched them in most areas tonight and created plenty of problems for them.

"No-one gave us a chance but we proved that there is talent in the group. They worked really hard for each other tonight and can only be proud of their performance."

City were the walking wounded towards the end of the game as several players suffered cramp but had to keep playing until the final minute.

Farndon believes the experience will make them mentally tougher and hailed the night as a 'fantastic' one for the Academy and club.

He added: "We were looking at which player to bring off in the end as we had so many who were struggling in the final stages because they gave it their all.

"It's a horrible way for the lads to go out and we've got a few of the lads in there who are crying but it will make them mentally tougher in their careers as disappointment like this always happens in football.

"You've got to be a certain type of person to take one and the lads who stepped up deserve great credit for doing so. All round, it's been a fantastic night for the club and the Academy."

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