EDS & Academy

Knight confident for Youth Cup semi-final

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Ben Knight says Manchester City Under-18s are full of confidence ahead of our FA Youth Cup semi-final against Blackburn Rovers, but is expecting a difficult game against the hard-working Lancashire outfit.

The two teams will square off at St George’s Park on Friday evening after it was decided the postponed 2019/20 competition would be completed in the early part of this campaign.

City’s team will comprise players from the Elite Development Squad (EDS) and the under-18s team, both of whom have made good starts this season and Knight says there is no shortage of belief in the camp.

“I think everyone is going to be feeling confident,” the 18-year-old midfielder told mancity.com.

“There is such a good group of lads in the youth cup team so whoever is going to play will do a good job.

“I would like to think we are favourites, but anything can happen. We have got to prepare right, play well and work hard.

“It is the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup, so it is definitely not going to be an easy game.”

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The 2019/20 competition is Knight's last shot at FA Youth Cup glory, so he is grateful he has been given the chance to complete the campaign after it was postponed in March due to COVID-19.

A losing finalist the season before, he is relishing the opportunity to try and crown his Academy career by winning the most prestigious youth trophy in this country.

“I’m really pleased to be able to finish the competition,” he added.

“I definitely think we should have won it in my first year. We outplayed Liverpool but didn’t take our chances so to get this opportunity is exciting. 

“Winning the FA Youth Cup is what everyone wants to do. That is the goal when you play for the under-18s and now we have a good opportunity to reach the final again.”

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Standing in our way is a Blackburn side that Knight believes will make life difficult for City.

The midfielder faced Rovers’ under-23 side in the Premier League 2 last month, when the opposition staged a late fightback to win 2-1 at the death and he expects they will show similar attributes in the semi-final.

“I think they will be a hard-working team with players who will run all game,” said Knight.

“We were 1-0 up in the 80th minute against their U23s and we ended up losing 2-1. That can happen if you work hard and never give in, like Blackburn do.

“They’ll be resilient. We can’t think that it is going to be easy.”

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