The Carabao Cup is well and truly under way as Clubs gear up for the Round Two of the competition next week.
But how did they voice their thoughts on the Round One action, which included everything from shock upsets and dramatic shoot-out showdowns to Club newcomers and individual debutants?
Returning PNE supporters ‘the life and blood’ of the Cup
Preston North End got their Cup campaign off to a roaring start, registering a convincing 3-0 victory over Mansfield Town.
However, manager Frankie McAvoy was less focused on the outcome and more on the Championship Club’s following when Lilywhites supporters turned out in their numbers in Nottinghamshire.
“The Mansfield fans behind us were making a bit of a raucous as well. I’ve said before and I’ll keep saying it, fans make football,” he said, speaking to iFollow in the wake of the Round One win.
“They’re the life and blood of the game and it’s just great to see them coming here in their numbers and thankfully tonight we can send them home happy with a 3-0 win.”
Sutton make Round One history
Sutton United’s first taste of Carabao Cup action and the newly promoted League Two team’s first visit to the Cardiff City Stadium was a bittersweet one.
Despite bowing out at the hands of the Welsh club, Sutton made history when they came up against Mick McCarthy’s side, and in spite of the score-line, manager Matt Gray was still beaming as he delivered his verdict following the final whistle.
"I was very pleased and proud of the performance. I thought we got the game plan quite right tonight and I was really pleased with the first half performance up until their goal because I thought we were well in the game.
"Overall, disappointed with the result but hugely pleased with the peformance, the attitude and everything we were about tonight."
Morecambe overcome the ‘first hurdle’
Morecambe surprised even themselves when they were tested against Championship opposition Blackburn Rovers.
Although, head coach Stephen Robinson admitted pre-match that his side would have to be at the ‘top of their game’ to overcome Blackburn, despite having ‘absolutely nothing to lose’.
“The second-half performance was literally a change in mentality, we stepped forward, and we pressed the game,” Robinson reflected, speaking to the Club post-match. “We changed the system but it was the shift in mentality for me that won us the game tonight.”
Blackburn opened the scoring, before Morecambe turned it around in the second half to seal passage through to the next round, but Robinson remained grounded, suggesting Blackburn are just the first of ‘lot of hurdles to overcome’ as Club prepare to march on Round Two.
Wimbledon ‘put their stamp’ on London derby
A short journey to The Valley was the outcome for Wimbledon in the Carabao Cup First Round.
Wimbledon assistant manager Rob Tuvey’s extensive ‘homework’ paid off after the Club progressed to Round Two of the Cup, courtesy of a 26th minute Paul Osew strike.
He explained: “It’s a London derby, it’s a game that we want to go there and put our stamp on, so that we can progress in the competition. The lads understand that every time they put on the Wimbledon shirt it means something and no competition is prioritised over another.”
Rams young players given the chance to ‘grow’
Derby County boss Wayne Rooney lauded the way he watched his youthful squad ‘grow’ in front of his eyes when the Rams locked horns with Salford City in Round One of the cup competition.
The Championship club were on the right side of a six-goal thriller, which was eventually settled 5-3 in a shoot-out that went down to the wire.
He said at the time: “I think this game will help them develop and they have got a taste of what first-team football is like.
“In some ways it couldn’t have ended in a better way in a penalty shootout. Louie Watson scored the winning penalty and it couldn’t have ended better.”
Debutant Ravel Morrison echoed Rooney’s thoughts, reaffirming that the winning side ‘showed good character’ and ‘kept their heads’, despite going 2-0 behind, before turning the score-line on its head.