EDS & Academy

Taylor hails City's maturity in Youth Cup triumph

SLIDE RULE: Ben Knight celebrates after netting City's opener
Manchester City Under-18s manager Gareth Taylor hailed his young charges' maturity after a 4-2 win over West Brom sealed our place in the FA Youth Cup final.

Ben Knight’s early opener was cancelled out just after the half-hour, but second-half strikes from Tommy Doyle, Knight again and Felix Nmecha sealed a deserved victory for the young Blues at the Academy Stadium.

After the game, Taylor paid tribute to his side’s display from one to eleven.

“I thought all the lads worked hard for one another and probably put on a performance that defied their age a little bit," said the Under-18s boss.

“You are looking for a mature performance, though you know they are going to make mistakes as they are young, but I thought there were elements where we showed good maturity.

“There were parts where we showed so much control and creativity… tonight the lads have done great.”

WATCH: Doyle: City can't wait for the FA Youth Cup final

City's reward for their impressive display was a place in the FA Youth Cup final where we will play host to Liverpool.

Looking ahead to the final, Taylor said he was expecting a tough test against Liverpool, who sealed their place with a 2-1 win in their semi-final over Watford.

Taylor added: “City v Liverpool is always a nice game at whatever age. I saw their semi -final when they beat Watford and it will be a tough game and they have quality players.”

However, the Young Blues’ boss insists that his side’s focus remains solely on their own performance: “We know about and we respect them, but we focus on ourselves.

“If we can get more of what we had on Monday against West Brom, we stand a good chance of being successful.”

READ: Match Report | Classy City book ticket to FA Youth Cup final

WATCH: How the Premier League Under 18s Cup was won

In an accomplished team performance, one of many to impress was Ben Knight with the attacking midfielder grabbing a brace thanks to a superb close-range finish and a clinical header.

The 16-year-old, who joined the Club from Ipswich last summer, has been deployed in several positions across the front-line this season, and Taylor said he had been delighted with the way the youngster had performed.

The manager added: “Ben is a great lad and is such a good kid to work with. He’s enthusiastic and we have pushed him a lot this season.

“We have really challenged him tactically but when you have someone like him who is eager to learn and great enthusiasm you’ve always got a chance.”

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