After being narrowly knocked out of the FA Youth Cup on penalties on Tuesday night, the Cherries youth team suffered their second defeat in a week as they lost out 2-1 to Cheltenham in the Football League Youth Alliance Cup on Saturday. The loss made it mathematically impossible for the Cherries to qualify for the second round of the competition.
Manager Embleton though was keen to emphasise that the experiences can only make the boys stronger.
“What these results do is make them respect what players at the top level go through,” he told afcb.co.uk. “It makes them treat all fixtures with the respect they deserve.”
“It also teaches them what type of business they are in – they have been in the limelight a bit more this week and they have to learn how to manage their approach.
“They also have to not be too up and down – the boys that can deal with the emotion and react to this will give themselves a chance of getting on.”
The team’s match on Saturday was the final fixture in the group stage of the Football League Youth Alliance Cup and a win would have virtually guaranteed them a place in the second round.
A slow start saw the Cherries go in 1-0 down at the break courtesy of a strike on the 27th minute. The home side responded in the second half, with an early shot from Charlie Davis unlucky to come off the underside of the bar.
Bournemouth deservedly pulled a goal back courtesy of Sam Matthews soon after, and the impressive youngster was unlucky not to add another later in the half.
Despite a succession of chances and pressure, it was the visitors who snatched a win late in the half, with a headed set piece.
Embleton described the game as a reflection of the week as a whole, but he was particularly pleased with his side’s second half showing.
“It was a game that probably reflected the week in terms of perhaps a hangover from the events on Tuesday night – particularly in the first half. Both physically and mentally the boys were exhausted after extra time and penalties.
“We didn’t really get going and it was a little bit easy for Cheltenham at times in the first half.
“We had a good conversation at half time, and it caused a response – we didn’t want to go out of the competition on a whimper.”
The 30-year-old is now keen to put this week behind the squad and focus on the season ahead.
“It’s a shame because it was a competitive competition and it would have been an opportunity to play more games and progress in a cup competition. It could have been the perfect game to have after losing on Tuesday night.
“We want to try and wash that memory away now so we now have the league to look forward to for the rest of the season and will try to do as much as we can to finish as high as we can.”
The youth team now have a week-long break, with the potential of a friendly fixture being arranged this Saturday before they return to league action the following weekend against Portsmouth.