- Leicester City’s Under-18s defeated Aston Villa in the third round of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday
- Goals from Kian Pennant and Chris Popov secured a passage into round four at Villa Park
- Coach Adam Barradell was thrilled with the performance from the Foxes youngsters
- They will now face Crewe Alexandra at home, which Barradell described as ‘another great fixture’
Tuesday night’s result sends the Foxes youngsters into the fourth round for the second season running, knocking out the cup holders in the process. Playing at Villa Park, City were not overawed by the occasion, scoring twice in the second half to secure safe passage into the next stage.
“I’m absolutely delighted with them,” Barradell told LCFC.com. "I thought the performance from the boys was outstanding. They had to fight, it was tough at times, we had to defend really well.
Harvey Godsmark-Ford helped City's youngsters keep another clean sheet on the road.
“They are always tense affairs in the FA Youth Cup. Aston Villa are a very good team, but I thought overall some of our play, especially the moments of quality that we needed, which has sometimes been lacking, was there.
“Ultimately, if we got a clean sheet, I was really confident that we would win the game in normal time. Some of our organisation and the effort and the togetherness and the real mentality of the group was exceptional."
With the scores locked at 0-0 at the break, Barradell revealed how he was able to shift the players’ into a more attacking mindset, leading to Kian Pennant scoring his eighth goal of the season, followed by Chris Popov’s injury-time second to wrap things up.
“It was about showing the confidence on the ball and being braver,” City’s coach explained. “I thought we tried to play forward too early and too quickly (in the first half).
It’s also great to have the players who are pushing on in the Under-23s and up to the first team to come back for this occasion.Adam Barradell LCFC.com
"At half-time it was about encouraging them to be more proactive in their movements, stick to the game model and how we try and play. They are excellent strikers and the number of goals they’ve got this year and some of the finishes… to do it on this stage as well, I’m delighted for both of them.
“It’s also great to have the players who are pushing on in the Under-23s and up to the first team to come back for this occasion. That only helps the group and the experience they’ve had with the older age groups is certainly a benefit to the Club.”
Forward Will Alves stepped back into the Under-18s side on Tuesday having featured for the Development Squad this season.
Crewe Alexandra await in round four and Barradell was pleased to be drawn to play on home soil. However, focus is now on the weekend’s return to U18 Premier League South action against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday (11:30am GMT kick-off).
He added: “It’s another great fixture. It’s one we’ll look forward to and to play at home in the competition will be a great advantage to us.
“We’ll be back in Thursday and rest and recuperate, but we’ll be fully focused on the game against Tottenham and looking forward to that fixture high on confidence.”
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