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U18s set for Pompey test

Academy Platt Lane 2008

Academy Platt Lane 2008

Academy manager Jim Cassell says that City's Under 18 side face a tough test in their quest to retain the FA Youth Cup at Portsmouth tonight.

The young Blues are on the south coast for the fourth round tie at Fratton Park, which is set for play following last Saturday's postponement of the seniors' league match.


City are currently runaway leaders of Group C in the Premier Academy League, but having been out of action for a month Jim says nothing will be taken for granted when the game kicks off at 7.00pm tonight.


"It's going to be a tough test for us. We've had them looked at, and they look to be a big, strong side who are very good at set-plays. I know Paul Hart, their head of youth operations, very well and he had a great record at Leeds' academy a few years back, so we know what sort of a test we could be in for.


"Due to the Christmas break and then the weather, we have not had a game since December 6th but we have been back in full training since the lads came back from the Christmas break. I hope that won't count against us, but we were in great form before the festive season so let's hope we can carry on in that vein.


"We travelled down on Tuesday, trained this morning and will rest up in the afternoon ahead of the game itself. To be honest, the travelling and playing away is not really a problem to us and the lads always take it in their stride. Having said that, it's nice to know we will have a home tie if we get through tonight - it will make a change!


"If we play to our capabilities then we are confident that we make it into the next round. The side has changed a bit from the one that won the trophy last season, but Alex and the coaching staff instil the same philosophy into the players, which is to play the game as we think it should be played. If we do that we know we are a match for anyone, but it's going to be real test against Portsmouth."


Admission to the game is £5 for adults, £3 for concessions. MCFC.co.uk's man on the ground will be Leon Collins, check the site later tonight for his match report.

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