Kane Taylor and Jadel Katongo say Ben Wilkinson has urged his players to remain focused in City Under-18s' end-of-season run-in.

City currently sit top of the U18 Premier League table with Liverpool in second place, hot on the heels with a game in hand.

The top two lock horns on Thursday in a crunch clash at the Academy Stadium in a noon (UK time) kick-off with the game set to be shown live on CITY+ and tickets available.

Speaking to mancity.com ahead of the game, Katongo and Taylor shared their thoughts on the top-of-the-table encounter, including Wilkinson’s advice to the players and the significance a win would have.


“If we win this game, it will be a massive boost for us in the league,” Katongo declared. “It will improve our confidence.

“We have to keep focused and keep pushing. Of course, there will be a few off days but as long as we can grind out results, that’s all that matters.

“We expect it will be a good physical challenge - very direct - but the lads will be ready for it.”

Taylor agreed: “[The manager has told us] not to get complacent. We’ve done well recently. We took one loss but that’s part of the journey.

“Any slip-up will cost us. We have to remain focused and calm. We know what here here to do. If we can get three points, that will help us massively.

“We have to remain focused, back each other and stick to the tactics and we should come through.”

Following last week’s Under-17 Cup success, the pair also say the mood around the City Football Academy has been buzzing.

“The morale around the changing rooms and the building after the win was very high so I think that will have a good effect for Thursday, for sure,” Katongo added.

And Taylor highlighted the importance of bringing the game closer to fans with CITY+ coverage and tickets on sale.

“It’s good for us,” he continued. “We’re all on this journey to get to the first-team and that will help - having that exposure and getting to meet the fans, it definitely helps.”

Hear their thoughts on the clash in the video above and tune in for live coverage from 11:50am on Thursday...