EDS & Academy

Wilkinson urges City's Under-18s to provide Stoke riposte

Wilkinson urges City's Under-18s to provide Stoke riposte
Head coach Ben Wilkinson says Saturday’s crucial Under 18 Premier League North home clash with Stoke offers City’s youngsters the perfect opportunity to bounce back in the wake of our FA Youth Cup exit.

City suffered a frustrating fourth-round Youth Cup loss in midweek, being edged out 1-0 away at Brighton and Hove Albion in what was a tightly contested clash.

Wilkinson’s youngsters make a quick return to action tomorrow when we play host to Stoke in a key Under-18 League clash at the CFA, a game that will be televised live on CITY+.

And the head coach believes being back in action so quickly offers his players – who lie second in the table just two points off top spot - the perfect platform to shake off the disappointment of that Youth Cup result.

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“Always when you have a defeat it’s nice to have another game to get your teeth into straight away rather than have a long period where you linger on the disappointment,” said Wilkinson.

“So that will be good for us. The team will probably look quite different from what we had at Brighton.

“We have a lot of games left this season and we are going to need the whole squad, so it gives us something to focus on in the short term.

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“Tuesday was a tough lesson, and it was really disappointing to lose the game.

“But we’ve all been here before, and it can easily happen in Cup football.

“The disappointment was heightened because of the nature of the FA Youth Cup and it’s two years in a row now we have gone out in a similar vein.

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“It’s how the boys react from this now.

“The proof will be how they go about the rest of the season and when we get put in similar situations to see if we have a slightly different response just in executing our technical actions in the final third and not allowing the opposition to get a foothold in the game.

“In the season the Youth Cup is obviously a pivotal competition, but we are competing on three other fronts so for the boys they have got plenty of games to try to right the wrongs and learn the lessons of Tuesday.

“One game doesn’t make a season so if we can show the quality and consistency, we have had at times this season in the next three of four months we will look at the Brighton result and hopefully see it as something we can learn from.”

CITY+ subscribers can watch Saturday's match at home to Stoke live from11.50am. Details of how to sign up can be found HERE

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