Adi Viveash says his Chelsea players can take a great deal of confidence going into the second leg of their FA Youth Cup Final – despite losing their first encounter with Fulham 3-2.
The Blues took the lead through Jay DaSilva just after the break, but three Fulham goals in ten minutes turned the tie favour of the home side.
Then substitute Charly Musonda pulled a goal back for Chelsea – to leave the tie delicately poised ahead of the 5 May decider at Stamford Bridge.
And speaking after the game Viveeash told TheFA.com his players have no reason to be downbeat.
“I told them to get their heads up because they have no reason to have their heads down,” said Viveash. “They’re obviously a little bit disappointed but you’ve got nothing to be down about because we played some really good football, we just weren’t clinical enough.
Chelsea v Fulham
FA Youth Cup Final
7.45pm, Monday 5 May
Live on ITV4
“I think both teams will be disappointed in their defending for the goals, that’s what happens with young players.”
Chelsea’s youngsters – who are playing in their third consecutive FA Youth Cup Final, and their fourth in five years – find themselves in a similar situation to that which they were in in the 2013 Final.
The Blues went back to the Bridge trailing Norwich City by a single goal after a 90th-minute penalty consigned them to a first-leg defeat.
And in the return leg Viveash’s side surrendered an early lead to lose 3-2 on the night – and the Chelsea manager says it is important his side learn from that experience.
“We’ve obviously got the same scenario as we had last year,” he added. “We know the mindset that we have to work on and what we have to go in. The players are aware with what is coming, but that’s part of young development in football.
“Obviously it was Fulham’s night in the first leg and they’ve edged it, but [Charly] Musonda’s goal has given us a real fillet.”
And on whether the home crowd could be pivotal in Monday’s return tie, Viveash said he was confident the Stamford Bridge faithful would be out in force to play their part.
“They were great in the first leg and they’ll make a massive difference to the players, but it’s just about who handles it. And again for both teams that’s what you’re looking at because in both sides you’re looking at potential first team players.
Watch highlights of The Final first leg here
“Yes we know what’s coming – a few, but not many of that starting XI have experienced it so they’d be exactly the same. I’m sure the Chelsea fans will be in great voice and it could make for a fantastic evening.”