Men's Team

Ake: Youngsters excelling is no surprise

Ake: Youngsters excelling is no surprise
Nathan Ake insists that he wasn't surprised by the standout performances of City's young stars in our pre-season clash with Preston.

An incredible 13 players aged 21 or under turned out for City across the 90 minutes in our 2-0 win, with James McAtee and Sam Edozie even combining for the latter’s second half strike, which completed the scoring.

Pep Guardiola praised City’s youngsters in his post-match interview and Ake followed suit when asked to reflect on our performance against the Lilywhites.

However, he did qualify that he expected them to adapt quickly to the rigours of senior football given the quality they've consistently show on the training pitch.

WATCH: Ake ready to kick on from pre-season opener

“I think they did very well,” Ake said of City’s young charges.

“The whole team and academy knows what kind of players we have.

“They've come to train with us so many times as well, so we know what quality they have as well. They showed that today and played really well.”

Tuesday evening’s victory over Preston provided an ideal start to City’s preparations for the 2021-22 campaign, as we look to defend our Premier League and Carabao Cup crowns, as well as set our sights on FA Cup and Champions League glory.

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And although Ake believes City will kick on from last season, he expects our immediate rivals to also raise their level in a bid to prevent us from emulating or even improving on last season's exploits.

He declared: “I think you have to (raise your level) every season.”

“Other teams are going to want to take the title off us.

"But we have to make sure we do everything we can to compete as well.”

WATCH: City 2-0 Preston: Match highlights

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City v Barnsley

City are in pre-season action once again this Saturday, as we welcome Barnsley to the Academy Stadium for a 6pm (UK) kick-off.

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You can also enjoy exclusive CityTV productions, including the Shaun Wright-Phillips: City’s Homegrown Hero and Kevin De Bruyne: Made in Belgium.

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