Manchester City U18s manager Lee Carsley has praised his side for their ability to handle the big occasion after their 4-0 victory over Reading in the FA Youth Cup.
Goals from Brahim Diaz, Phil Foden and a Lukas Nmecha brace saw City sail through to the fourth round at the Madejski Stadium against a Reading team that are second in the southern half of the U18 Premier League.
Carsley said: “I’ve had chance to watch a lot of Reading in the last three or four matches and I knew the quality they have and that we would have to be at our best to beat them. That’s how well we played tonight.
“Considering the big build-up to the game and the fact we’ve been preparing for this since pre-season in Croatia, they handled the occasion really well.
“There were a lot of aspects to tonight’s match such as the big stadium, the long journey and the threat of knockout that made it a great experience emotionally and mentally for these lads.
“Quite a few have been lucky enough to be around Simon’s squad and that’s been a big help in preparing them for these occasions.”
Carsley puts much of the success down to a togetherness within the squad, stating that the members of the squad unavailable for the tie inspired the team to victory.
He said: “The injured lads came in just before kick-off and at half-time and it gave the boys a real boost. That shows just how much of a squad effort it was tonight.
“They only have two chances to play in the Youth Cup so that’s important to get a win and give the injured players a chance to play in the next round.”
City will discover their opponents in the fourth round on Saturday once the tie between Liverpool and Crystal Palace is decided.
“We’ve got U18 Premier League matches before our next FA Youth Cup tie so no matter who it turns out we are playing, we’ve got challenges to focus on first,” said Carsley.