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Duhaney: City can still be national champions

DUHANEY: City's right-back has enjoyed a strong season at both U18s and EDS level

DUHANEY: City's right-back has enjoyed a strong season at both U18s and EDS level

Manchester City U18s defender Demeaco Duhaney has told his U18s teammates they can still win the final stage of the Premier League despite their opening draw with Manchester United.

Lukas Nmecha’s double guaranteed a 2-2 draw for Lee Carsley’s side on Saturday but with only six matches remaining in Merit Group A, City already have some catching up to do.

The Blues will welcome perennial challengers Chelsea to the City Football Academy later in the tournament and Duhaney believes this could be vital for their title chances.

He said: “We’ve got to see it as two points dropped but there’s still six games to go in the national league and we can still win it. We’ve got Chelsea to play and they’re always one of the strongest in the competition. If we can beat them then it will be all up for grabs.”

City showed tremendous resilience to twice come from behind in their draw with local rivals United and Duhaney even believes his side could have gone on to win it.

“I thought we might get the third goal at the end. We had a couple of chances with Lukas Nmecha and Ian [Carlo Poveda] but a draw might have been fair, to be honest.”

View highlights of last week's FA Youth Cup rout over Stoke City below...

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With the international break already under way for some sides, City were missing several players but Duhaney insists they can’t claim this had an effect on them.

“I don’t think it made much of a difference because we have a deep squad with plenty of players to step in,” said the right-back.

“Me, Lukas and Jacob [Davenport] don’t usually play in the U18s so we’ve filled in for them and that means we should have still got the three points. We can’t make excuses about missing Jadon [Sancho], Joel [Latibeaudiere] and Lorenzo [Gonzalez].”

It’s two weeks until City’s next fixture – the second leg of the FA Youth Cup semi-final with Stoke City – but Duhaney knows his teammates won’t lose their focus.

“We’re going to train hard in the way that we have been all season and when the next game comes around, we’ll be ready to push on for the end of the season.”

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