- Leicester City’s Development Squad tackle Leeds United at York Community Stadium on Friday
- The Foxes youngsters are aiming to bounce back from two successive Premier League 2 defeats
- Coach Ben Petty previewed the 7pm kick-off, speaking of the need to return to winning ways
- They have focused on being much harder to break down, he adds
The Foxes were defeated 3-0 by Liverpool Under-23s on Sunday, following a 4-1 reverse against Tottenham Hotspur Under-23s earlier in the week and Petty acknowledged that they gave themselves a mountain to climb after conceding two early goals in Merseyside.
City were 2-0 down inside 20 minutes at Liverpool Academy and conceded a third in stoppage time, with the result leaving Leicester in 11th position in the Premier League 2 Division 1 standings.
“It was a very difficult start to the (Liverpool) game,” City’s coach admitted to LCFC.com. “The conditions were absolutely horrendous, and Liverpool played the conditions better in the first 20 minutes. After the first 20 minutes, there was nothing in the game.
Maswanhise Nets In Spurs Reverse
Tawanda Maswanhise scored his fifth Premier League 2 goal of the season in the Leicester City Development Squad's 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur Under-23s.
“We were obviously very disappointed to go two goals behind and we gave ourselves too much to do in the second half. Although we dominated the game for long periods, we couldn’t get the goal that we needed.
“It didn’t make for a great footballing occasion, and it became more of battle really and Liverpool won the first 20 minutes, which was pivotal in the game.”
Republic of Ireland youngster Shane Flynn, who missed the start of the season through injury, got minutes under his belt at Liverpool Academy and forward Will Russ was also introduced in the second half, offering several different options for Friday’s clash.
Petty explained: “It was a very difficult game to assess in terms of payers’ performance because of the conditions of the game. Shane [Flynn] has been a bit unfortunate that he was injured and then Kasey [McAteer] has been fantastic at left-wing back and we’ve created that culture where you keep the shirt when you’re playing well.
It’s a really important game for us. Our league position isn’t as good as it should be and that’s something that the lads need to work towards in the second half of the season.Ben Petty LCFC.com
“Will [Russ] has been training really well and he gave us a different dimension. The game called for us to go a little bit more direct, we were chasing the game and the conditions were very, very poor. He did a great job for the team.
“He worked the centre-backs really hard and he caused a lot of trouble so, like Jake Wakeling and Terell Pennant, they are all vying for that no.9 shirt alongside Tawanda [Maswanhise].”
Without a win in three and having conceded seven goals in their last two league fixtures, Petty says that the team are motivated to return to their best form ahead of the winter break. City defeated Leeds 1-0 in October and are preparing for another tight encounter this time around.
He continued: “We’ve had two defeats in a week and I think it’s very important that we put a stop to that because winning and losing becomes a habit and it’s not something that we want to get into. So, we’re fully focused on being much harder to beat on Friday and putting in another good performance.
Leicester City U23s 1 Leeds United U23s 0
Extended highlights from King Power Stadium as Leicester City's Under-23s recorded a Premier League 2 victory over Leeds United on Friday evening.
“You can see from the league, apart from West Ham, Arsenal, Tottenham and Man City, I think it’s very tight. The teams are very evenly matched and it’s important that we get some wins under our belts in the coming matches to get ourselves higher up the league.
“It’s a really important game for us. Our league position isn’t as good as it should be and that’s something that the lads need to work towards in the second half of the season.
“With Leeds, you never quite know what team they are going to put out. They use the Under-23s as a vehicle for their first team. Patrick Bamford and Luke Ayling played last night, so it would be interesting to see what their team selection is.
“But whatever it is, it’s going to be a very tough game for us and one we know we’re going to have to be on our A-game to get anything out of.”
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