EDS & Academy

EDS players must get comfortable with feel of ‘knockout football’ says Barry-Murphy

Elite Development Squad head coach Brian Barry-Murphy wants his players to become comfortable with the feeling that knockout football brings.

Our youngsters head to Blundell Park on Tuesday night knowing victory against Grimsby Town will guarantee our progress to the Round of 32 in this season’s Papa Johns Trophy.

After picking up three points against Derby County in our second Northern Group F fixture, a draw could also see us leapfrog the Rams into second place and so secure our passage the knockout stages on goal difference.

Should we win against the Mariners on Tuesday, we will finish top of the group ahead of League Two side Mansfield Town who currently occupy first place on five points.

EFL Trophy
2 Mansfield Town Mansfield 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 5 WLWL
3 Manchester City Manchester City Man City 3 1 1 1 6 5 1 4 LWL
4 Derby County Derby 3 1 1 1 5 5 0 4 WLL
Last updated: 13 January 2023

City have made a fantastic start to the 2022/23 campaign and sit just two points off top-of-the-table Arsenal in the Premier League 2 standings.

We also topped our UEFA Youth League group and progressed to the knockout stages for the first time since the 2017/18 campaign.

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And Barry-Murphy believes the trip to tackle League Two Grimsby will give him another good indicator of where his players are at mentally.

He said: “The game on Tuesday night against Grimsby will be another extreme test for our young players to show what they can do. It is priceless for me for where we are at.

“I think the nature of the competition for our young players [is good], they must get comfortable with that ‘knockout’ feel to a game.

“At our Club now, the players will be playing at a level where they must win or else be knocked out, so we want to see how we can play and behave in those situations when the consequences are when you lose, you are out.

“So that is great for us, the challenge of Grimsby is something that I know well, it will be unique. It will be a great test for our players – if we can overcome that it will be amazing really.”

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