EDS & Academy

Harsley targets EFL Trophy encore

Play it again is the message from manager Paul Harsley as City’s Under-21s prepare for Tuesday night’s second Leasing.com Trophy group clash away to Bradford City (7.30pm).

The City youngsters currently top the Northern Group F standings after our impressive 2-0 away win at Rochdale in our EFL Trophy opener a fortnight ago.

Bradford meanwhile are in second place, a point behind us in the table after they secured a 4-3 win on penalties away at Bolton Wanderers last month after the 90 minutes had finished tied at 1-1.

Under manager Gary Bowyer, the Bantams have made an impressive start to life in the League Two and currently lie in sixth place in the table, their latest league victory coming at the weekend when they overcame Carlisle United 3-1.

As such the trip across the Pennines to West Yorkshire promises to be another demanding but valuable step upon the learning curve for Harsley’s squad and the boss says that he and his players will again rely on the core principles and philosophy that underpin the Elite Development Squad as a whole.

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“We can’t go into a game against these League One and League Two sides looking to match them physically… instead it’s about us trying to the best version of Manchester City that we can be,” Harsley said.

“That means moving the ball around the pitch at pace, trying to utilise space and working incredibly hard when we don’t have the ball.

“For us it’s all about being the best that we possibly can be.

“That approach worked really well for us in this competition last season and hopefully it can this season too.

“We got off to the best start at Rochdale which is great. All the group games will be tough tests but, hopefully, we can put a bit of a run together in this competition again this time round.”