3rd March 2017
In our latest Academy column, we speak to Neil Critchley about the progress of Liam Coyle, Conor Masterson and Yan Dhanda, and the U18s manager looks ahead to Saturday’s meeting with Manchester City.
It is fair to say the lads can’t wait to get back out on the pitch again because we haven’t played since February 18, when we produced an excellent display to beat Wolves 3-1. Manchester City are one of the best teams around at U18 level. They have a host of outstanding players and a fantastic team, but it’s nice to pit yourselves up against some of the best players in the country – because we’ve got some as well. We have lost twice to Manchester City this season but in the FA Youth Cup tie we were much better and that game could have gone either way.
In the game away from home earlier on in the season, when we suffered a heavy defeat, we found ourselves chasing the game very early so a good start for us is essential. Our message to the lads before the game is always the same. We want to try to take the game to the opposition and play in their half of the pitch. It’s a great game for our boys, we want them to stake a claim and this is their opportunity to go and do that. If we defend well and are well organised, then we know we have the players in attack who can hurt the opposition.