EDS & Academy

Taylor: My players should thrive on the pressure

Taylor: My players should thrive on the pressure
Gareth Taylor admits his side are favourites to progress from tonight’s FA Youth Cup Third Round tie at home to Swansea.

But he believes the expectation to win provides his young charges with a valuable learning curve.

The game at the Academy Stadium is a repeat of the Premier League U18 Cup match in November that saw City run out 5-0 winners.

And most observers expect City to progress on this occasion, too.

Taylor says being favourites is a situation his side faced last season, and he wants to see his players step up to the challenge and avoid a slip up.

“In a cup competition, as a player or as a coach, when the draw is made the first thing you look at is: Are you the favourite? Are you the underdog? Or is it level pegging, where you think both teams are expected to do well in this game?” he says.

“We had that situation a lot in last season’s Youth Cup. The third round draw away at Clevedon. Straight away we’re massive favourites. Huge favourites. In terms of an experience for our lads, I thought it was amazing.

“There were a couple of thousand there. It was a tight, non-league stadium, the pitch was very boggy, but we had a nucleus of the team that revelled in that situation and really enjoyed the experience.

“If we didn’t have that, the outcome could have been different.

“That’s what happens if any cup competition. The underdog can knockout the favourite and it happens a lot. In this game, we’ll be the favourites. I wouldn’t say huge favourites, but we will be the favourites.

“It’s a Category 1 v Category 1 academy and already in the first couple of rounds I’ve seen a couple of Category 1 reams go out.

“You have to make sure you play to the plan you’ve set and that the performance hopefully takes care of the result.”

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The win over Swansea in November saw City produce a dominant performance, with our possession game too much for the visitors to handle.

Goals from Cole Palmer, James Mcatee, Oscar Bobb and a double from Liam Delap saw City record an emphatic victory.

But Taylor doesn’t feel the Premier League U18 Cup tie will have any relevance on tonight’s game.

“I’m expecting big changes," he said, "Both teams didn’t really want to show their hand.

"There were certain things we held back in, in that game, like set plays. 

"Our team, I imagine, will change a lot. Theirs, probably will as well.

"If we were going at it with the same players I think it [5-0 win] would be relevant. I suppose the only kind of thing that it gives for both teams is a bit of an understanding of what they’re trying to achieve.

"There’s some things they would have picked up on with us as well. But it’s one of those where we won’t know how similar it was until the games done.”

City's FA Youth Cup Third Round clash against Swansea City will be available to watch via the Man City for TV app.

For more information on how to watch, visit the Man City for TV website.