Date: 28th April 2009 at 5:20pm
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Martin O’Neill has congratulated our reserves and told them to put last seasons disappointment behind them a secure a victory in their playoff clash with Sunderland.

Speaking on the official site this afternoon, O’Neill was full of praise for both the youngsters involved and reserve coach Kevin MacDonald for the second title win in succession.

‘They have done brilliantly. I was delighted to see the faces of the young lads in the dressing room after they had won the title. It was great.

‘It is their second consecutive year – a big congratulations to the players and to Kevin MacDonald for that.’

Picking out Mr MacDonald specifically, O’Neill let it be known that our reserve bosses best laid plans often had to change due to the first team requirements, so I think it’s pretty clear from his words he wanted to reserve special praise for the man who often didn’t know what his final squad would be in the lead up to games – not the best position when you are attempting to work on tactics I think you’d agree.

‘To be fair to Kevin, he never knows on the morning of a game what team he will have. When he thinks he knows when he walks out of my office after we have agreed on the team, it usually changes by the afternoon.

‘I like as many young players as possible to play but it’s usual that a senior player will be in there if he needs a game.

‘But effectively, the title has been won by a group of young players – almost a follow-on from last season’s youth team – and that’s very encouraging.’

Calling on the team to make this a special season for themselves, O’Neill wants them to make Sunderland pay for the errors that cost them last years play off match against Liverpool.

‘I’m looking forward to watching the play-off game against Sunderland. If we could go and win it after the disappointment last season of defeat to Liverpool at the same stage, it would be fantastic.’

We all know they have the talent to achieve it it just depends if they are good enough on the day.