Ben Petty

Petty Pleased With PL2 Progress

Ben Petty highlighted an improvement in the Leicester City Development Squad’s all-round level of performance in his assessment of their season to date.
More on this story...

- Leicester City’s Development Squad sit eighth in the Premier League 2 Division 1 standings
- Coach Ben Petty reflected on the season so far and how the young group have developed
- City, currently on a three-game unbeaten run, are showing signs of improvement, says Petty
- The Foxes are back in action at home to Tottenham Hotspur next Monday (7pm GMT kick-off)

He has presided over a campaign which has so far included three wins and four draws from 10 Premier League 2 Division 1 fixtures, remaining unbeaten in the their last three outings.

A 2-1 victory over West Ham United, courtesy of Wanya Marcal-Madivadua’s late winner, came in-between draws with Chelsea (1-1) - when the winger was also on the scoresheet - and Arsenal (3-3).

Those results have seen the young Foxes climb the league standings and they headed into the international break sitting eighth, still with a game in hand to play on the teams around them in the table.

Petty explained to LCFC.com: “You would expect us to have a reasonably slow start with such a young team and being in a transitional period. We’re changing the style of play a little bit and, over the month, I think everyone’s seen that we’re getting stronger.

It’s a very young team, but it’s a really good group at the minute. It’s very competitive, it’s a good thing for the players to have lots of competition for places.

Ben Petty LCFC.com

“Our performances have been much better and therefore we’ve got some really good results. The squad is evolving nicely and the players are improving, which is the most important thing. We hope to kick on now in the second half of the season.”

The break from club football, which saw members of the squad feature in youth international matches, has also allowed several players to continue their recovery from injury.

“The squad is looking in a good place,” City’s coach continued. “We’ve got some longer-term injuries coming back like Josh Eppiah. We’re hoping that Ben [Nelson], Wanya [Marcal-Madivadua] and Sammy [Braybrooke] come back in good physical condition.

“It’s a very young team, but it’s a really good group at the minute. We’ve got Will Alves and Chris Popov coming in from the Under-18s as well. It’s very competitive, it’s a good thing for the players to have lots of competition for places.

“It makes it very difficult as staff to pick a starting XI and that’s what you want. You want it to be like that. You don’t want it to be the same lads having the shirts every week because that means there’s no one coming through.”

Development Squad

Barrow 1 Leicester City U21s 0

Watch extended highlights as Leicester City's Development Squad ended their Papa John's Trophy campaign in Barrow, with commentary from John Dunn.

City were unable to qualify for the knockout stages of the Papa John’s Trophy, following back-to-back group stage defeats to Sky Bet League 1 opposition, and were then unfortunate to fall to a 1-0 reverse against fourth tier Barrow in their final group outing.

It did, however, provide an opportunity for several players to earn a spot in the starting XI for the first time in 2021/22, and after an impressive team performance in Cumbria, Petty has been left with several selection headaches ahead of a return to action.

Leicester welcome Tottenham Hotspur to LCFC Training Ground on Monday 22 November.

The 44-year-old added: “We were very fortunate to have the game last Tuesday against Barrow and then we had some involvement with the first team in training on Thursday and Friday, so some of the lads had the opportunity to go and train with them, which is always a brilliant experience.

“We’re in a situation now where you play on merit. If you play well, you keep the shirt. We’ve got almost two players for every position if you count the Under-18s as well and that’s the sort of environment I want to create.

“I want the lads to be on top of their game and to be on their A-game every week if they can, or at least show the attitude and work ethic to keep the shirts. I think it’s important with young players to keep them hungry and it’s moving in the right direction.”

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