EDS & Academy

City braced for tough FA Youth Cup test at Brighton, says Wilkinson

City braced for tough FA Youth Cup test at Brighton, says Wilkinson
Head coach Ben Wilkinson wants City’s Under-18s to use our impressive FA Youth third-round win at Middlesbrough as the template for Tuesday’s tough fourth-round assignment away at Brighton.

The City youngsters booked our ticket for the trip to the South Coast with a fine 3-0 win at Boro last month in our opening assignment in this season’s competition

Wilkinson is anticipating another demanding test of his young charges in Tuesday's clash against the Seagulls’ Under-18s which CITY+ subscribers will be able to watch live on our channels.

But he believes if his players can mirror the way they handled the challenge on Teesside, City can go into the game with confidence.

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“We know that Brighton will present a really tough challenge,” Wilkinson acknowledged.

“They are a very good team, we’re away from home and they will be really up for it.

“It’s a great draw for them bringing us down to their ground so it’s a great challenge for us but its one we are really looking forward to.

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“Our third-round win at Middlesbrough was a very pleasing performance.

“It was the first time that group of players had played together this season.

“And in tricky circumstances on a tough pitch I thought we were really good.

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“We played really well – we controlled the tempo of the game physically we were very good too and we won a lot of duels.

“The control of the ball and the intensity was really Pleasing and if we can replicate that, hopefully, we will be difficult to beat.”

City boast a proud FA Youth Cup record, having won the prestigious tournament in 2020 and being losing finalists in 2019 as well as also reaching the final in 2015, 16 and 17.

And Wilkinson says there is a recognition within the whole Academy about both the significance and history of the event – and the unique challenges it presents young players with.

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“Growing up in this country you understand what the FA Youth Cup is and means,” the head coach added.

“I think it is seen as the most prestigious youth tournament in this country for sure.

“The FA Youth Cup has got a fantastic history attached to it with the teams and players that have won it in the past.

“Everyone is aware that there is that little more on it when you get to the games – you can feel that more edge in the build-up and the games themselves.

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“It’s great for the lads to experience that.

“I think it’s also very realistic in terms of the experience. We’ll get one day to prepare after playing at Liverpool at the weekend, so limited preparation time then its travel and recovery from Saturday’s game all those things.

"So it’s great in terms of preparation for the demands of first team football.”

CITY+ subscribers will be able to watch all the action from our FA Youth Cup fourth-round tie live from 1.55pm on Tuesday.

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