EDS & Academy

Vicens excited by FA Youth Cup's ‘all or nothing’ nature

Vicens excited by FA Youth Cup's ‘all or nothing’ nature
Manchester City Under-18s boss Carlos Vicens says he and his players can’t wait to get stuck into the FA Youth Cup ahead of our rearranged third-round fixture with Birmingham City.

The competition was temporarily suspended in early January to fall in line with Government guidelines surrounding the national lockdown.

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However, the third round gets back underway this week, with City welcoming Birmingham to the Academy Stadium on Friday evening as we begin our quest to retain the trophy.

The game, which kicks-off at 19:00 (UK) will be broadcast live on CITY+ and  Vicens insists he and his players revel in the added pressure that comes with knockout football.

“It’s exciting for the players and it is a game that is all or nothing," he said.

"If you lose the game you are out so it is different and is exciting. I am really made up for the players as it is something they love to be involved in.

“I think the restart is good news. The tricky thing might be finding dates to fit as we really don’t have much time left in the season, but I am really pleased.

"I’m really looking forward to getting the team together and to prepare properly.”

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It’s just four months since the City lifted the FA Youth Cup in last season’s rearranged final, coming out as 3-2 winners against Chelsea in a thrilling encounter at St. George’s Park.

Vicens hopes his players can draw on that past experience, and believes that concentrating on their own game will be the best solution in securing a smooth passage to the next round.

“For me, the most important thing is to focus on ourselves and we will have to put a good performance,” he added.

“We may have a few tweaks because of opponents but the main thing for us is to focus on our performance.”

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Defeat against Manchester United in mid-February ended our phenomenal 20-game unbeaten league run, but we have since won four in succession, scoring 17 goals and conceding three along the way.

Vicens is proud of the way his players have stepped up to the plate since that Derby disappointment, and hopes they can carry that fine form into this evening’s clash with Birmingham.

“After the defeat against United we said that the level of intensity in general needed to be raised and I think we have seen that,” the Spaniard reflected.

“The players have had a great reaction after that, and I think it is a consequence of the way we have been playing and the fact we score goals.

“One thing that is different from the first part of the season to now is we have lost consistency defensively and we need to get that back.”

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