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O'Brien looking to end Etihad Stadium run unbeaten

STOPPER: Billy O'Brien is excited to be playing at the Etihad Stadium

STOPPER: Billy O'Brien is excited to be playing at the Etihad Stadium

City Premier League 2 goalkeeper Billy O’Brien is delighted the young Blues are getting so many chances to star at the Etihad Stadium.

Having beaten Arsenal and drawn with Manchester United inside the club’s home this season, O’Brien and his Elite Development Squad teammates will face Leicester there on Friday night.

O’Brien, this season’s captain at Premier League 2 level, believes the players learn more every time they play in one of Europe’s best stadiums.

He said: “It’s a brilliant experience. It’s a massive, daunting stadium with steep sides so that makes it the kind of place all players want to play. If you look at it from afar it strikes you as something special.

“To know one of the best teams in the world play there gives you the drive to be playing there every week in front of a full stadium as a member of the first team squad. It all relies on us to make that happen.”

An impressive 4-2 win at table toppers Sunderland on Sunday moved the side level on points with the Black Cats. Despite the excellent start to the season, O’Brien feels the side have to start keeping more clean sheets.

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“The sort of goals we’ve conceded so far are goals we’ve given away. At Derby and against United we weren’t happy because we thought we’d let them in too easily and made some mistakes” said the 20-year-old.

“The Reading game was probably the only game where we’ve conceded good goals but while we’re still learning how to play out it invites more pressure from the opposition and can go wrong if we don’t do it right.”

O’Brien, who has been at the club since 2006, reserved praise for manager Simon Davies in the way he has educated the players.

He said: “Simon is brilliant at reminding us of both aspects. He wants us to play the club’s way but if it’s impossible to play out then it’s a bad idea to put yourself under stupid pressure. I think we’re finding a good balance with that so far, just like the first team have so far this season.”

City v Leicester in the Premier League 2 kicks off at 7pm on Friday 23 September at the Etihad Stadium. Visit the ticket office for more information on how you can support our future.

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