Another night for the entire Academy to be proud of was a welcome boost as lockdown continues, with hope of restrictions being eased in the coming months.
“I think it’s fair to say the staff have probably had the hardest year of their lives,” explained Cox.
“In terms of the working conditions they’ve been under, life at the training ground is incredibly restricted and many of the staff are still dealing with being at home or home-schooling.
“For the staff to see a night like Thursday reminded them why they are associated with the Academy. It really is a wonderful experience for everyone and just gives us all that lift and motivation to keep going at a really tough time.
“For the players, as we’ve talked about before, there is no more powerful role model than someone just a couple of years older than you. In the same way, it was a lovely moment when Shola replaced Mason. We hope it won’t be too long before someone is replacing Shola as sub, who is maybe a couple of years younger than him.
“That chain reaction has always been the way and this week has been a wonderful example of that. Thursday night and Shola’s debut last weekend injects positivity into the organisation, which is more important now than it has ever been.”