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Academy News

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Jim in confident mood ahead of Arsenal

Academy Platt Lane 2008

Academy Platt Lane 2008

City's Under 18s are in a positive frame of mind ahead of tonight's FA Youth Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

The young Blues go into the game 2-1 down after last month's first leg, their only defeat of this season, and face a tough task in the battle to reach the final.


But Academy manager Jim Cassell is confident that he, head coach Alex Gibson and the team know enough from the first leg to overturn the deficit and get a City team into the Youth Cup final for the third time in four years.


Jim told mcfc.co.uk, "All the expectancy is with Arsenal to win, which is understandable because they are already a goal up and on their own ground. But we have approached every game in a similar frame of mind this season, we have wanted to go out and win it and that's what we shall do with this one.


"Having watched the video we didn't think there was too much in the game at the first leg. We could have been a couple of goals to the good in the first half, but it did not quite go that way. You would expect Arsenal to be heavy favourites, but at the same time we are not going down there to make the numbers up. We feel that if we perform we have a great chance of getting the result we need.


"Arsenal could come out flying or they could be nervous, you just don't know with young players. We have concentrated on what we can effect, which is our own team and the tactics we want to use on the night. If we are able to do that, we have a good chance.


"It's fantastic to still be involved in such a prestigious competition, but we do not want to go out at the semi finals. We know we face quality opposition, which is what the Youth Cup is all about."


The long gap between the two legs is partially explained by City's participation in the Dallas Cup, which came about when the Club were asked to send a team over after winning the Youth Cup last year. Our lads won many friends in Texas, only exiting the competition at the semi-finals on penalties to eventual winners Sao Paulo of Brazil, and the time spent abroad is something Jim feels will have helped City prepare for tonight.


He continues, "We were a bit concerned before the trip, but it gave us a great chance to be together and it was a good bonding session. We are in a good frame of mind, the boys are in good spirits and they enjoyed the trip to Dallas. They are refreshed after that, and if we get the rub of the green tonight, then who knows?


"We respect Arsenal very much but we will not be overawed, and everybody is looking forward to playing at the Emirates."

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Young Blues out of Dallas Cup on penalties

Academy Platt Lane 2008

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Academy Platt Lane 2008

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Academy Platt Lane 2008

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