The FA Youth Cup

Boss Billy Barr believes in Blackburn's FA Youth Cup hopes

Monday 04 Apr 2016
Blackburn Rovers Under-18s coach Billy Barr

You have to go back to May 2013 for the last time Chelsea lost an FA Youth Cup tie, but Blackburn Rovers coach Billy Barr has not given up hope of his young team upsetting the odds on Friday night.

Rovers head to Stamford Bridge 1-0 down from the Semi-Final first leg, defender Fikayo Tomori’s goal settling the initial meeting between the clubs last month.

Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers

The FA Youth Cup
Semi-Final second leg
7.45pm, Friday 8 April 2016
Stamford Bridge, Chelsea FC
Live on ITV4

But after taking time to find their feet in the first half, Barr's charges were much improved after the break.

And the former Crewe Alexandra and Carlisle United defender is hopeful as his side head down to west London for the second leg.

"I said before the first leg that the objective was to come out of it still in the tie, because we had seen what Chelsea had done to other teams in the past," said Barr.

"So we are still in it and the second-half performance at Ewood was far better than the first-half performance.

"And that is the one that we are looking at and hoping we can reproduce over 90 minutes instead of 45.

"We created chances, albeit most of them were from corners. But we did have the Lewis Mansell chance that was cleared off the line and Tre Pemberton on the follow-up. Just little half chances.

"But the boys were more disappointed with themselves than we were disappointed with them after the game, because they felt they have far more than they showed.

"So on Friday night, on a fantastic pitch, it is a chance for our lads to go and enjoy the whole occasion with no pressure whatsoever and hopefully get ourselves into a position where we can bring something back out of it.

Archive: Watch Chelsea's game with Blackburn Rovers in The FA Youth Cup of 2012

"We are hoping that all the experiences that they had recently against these big teams stand us in good stead and that we go out and click like we have done."

Prized scalps of Aston Villa and Leicester City have been claimed by Rovers en route to the last four.

The performances have seen a number of the club’s players feature in the Under-21s squad that beat Arsenal on Friday and Brighton away on Monday.

And despite clocking up the miles this week, Barr hopes there is enough gas in the tank for one last push.

"We had nine of the squad with the U21s over the weekend and eight of them started and the other one came on," added Barr.

"So it is just dealing with fatigue really from the ones who played on Friday, travelled Sunday, played Monday and travelled back north.

"Their sleep patterns were broken a little bit so we've kept them off their feet as much as we can and I’m sure once the game starts none of them will be moaning about being tired.

"To emulate the Aston Villa performance would be fantastic because that was our best of the campaign and that would give us a great chance of hopefully progressing."

By Josh Richards Digital Producer