City U18s travel to Carrington on Wednesday to take on their Manchester United counterparts in a 1pm kick off (GMT)…
Jason Wilcox’s side head into the game knowing that a win will secure the Barclays U18 Premier League North Division title.
The young Blues are in fine form having won their previous seven games in all competitions, including a 2-0 victory over United at the Academy Stadium in late January.
The title could have been won with that result but Everton’s 3-2 win against Blackburn Rovers on the same day meant it would go down to the last game of the first part of the season.
Three points against United at Carrington would secure a second North Division title in three years, but manager Wilcox knows it won’t be an easy game.
He said: “Manchester United are a huge football club and whoever pulls on a shirt for them will want to compete. We know that we’ve got an unbelievably hard game against them, irrespective of their league position.
“It’s a local derby and whoever they put out on the day, we’re going to have to be at our best to get anything out of it."
The 44-year old continued: “The league table and form goes out of the window in derbies and they’ll want to beat us. It’s up to us that we show the same sort of character in the reverse fixture, which we won 2-0.”
Midfielder Marcus Wood, who celebrated his 18th birthday the day before the Newcastle win, is in agreement with Wilcox and states that the young Blues will be focusing on their own game, rather than what could happen after full time.
He commented: “We’ve got to focus on how we play, rather than thinking about what we could be celebrating afterwards, and if we do that then the rest will take care of itself. It’s a big game, it’s a Derby and it’s going to be a tough game.”