Ben Petty

Petty: Confidence Growing Ahead Of Chelsea Clash

Ben Petty says morale is high within the team as Leicester City’s Development Squad prepare to travel to Chelsea Under-21s this weekend.
More on this story...

- Leicester City’s Development Squad face Chelsea Under-21s in PL2
- Saturday’s fixture is a 12pm kick-off at Kingsmeadow
- Coach Ben Petty provides his thoughts on the fixture
- He also assessed the Foxes youngsters’ start to the season

Entering Saturday’s fixture away to Chelsea, a 12pm kick-off at Kingsmeadow, following successive home defeats in their last two Premier League 2 Division 1 matches, it leaves City’s youngsters ninth in the early standings.

However, beating German outfit Wolfsburg 1-0 in their opening Premier League International Cup encounter, as well as taking plenty of positives from performances against Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool, Petty believes the results indicate the division’s competitiveness this term.

“It just shows the strength of the league and how difficult it is this season,” City’s coach began, speaking to “I think the league has definitely gone up in terms of quality. The two defeats were sandwiched between a good win against Wolfsburg in the PL International Cup, so in terms of squad confidence, we’re in a decent place.

Development Squad

Highlights – Leicester City U21s 1 Brighton & Hove Albion U21s 4

Extended highlights from the Leicester City Development Squad's Premier League 2 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion Under-21s on Saturday.

“We’ve made a steady start without pulling any trees up and what we need to do now is find some form and get some wins on the board because with our performances we probably think we deserve a few more points than what we’ve got.

“We’re still trying to get to our top form but we’re showing good signs and we’re pleased with the players so far. The great thing about the competition is that because we didn’t know too much about Wolfsburg, we really focused on ourselves and what we needed to do.

“We didn’t really worry about the opponent too much. That’s something we need to take forward into the PL2 and Papa Johns Trophy games, getting our own performances right and not worrying too much about what the opposition’s strengths are.”

With several players away on international duty, training in Seagrave has looked a little different to normal, providing the opportunity to work on different aspects of their play. The squad is therefore in a good place prior to their capital trip, the 45-year-old explained.

When you’ve got two games in such a short space of time, especially at this age group, you have to think about managing the squad and the physical loadings.

Ben Petty

“As normal, we collaborate with the first team,” he continued. We try and work really closely with them and some of our lads have had an opportunity to go and train with the first team.

“We’ve had half the squad away, so it enables some of the Under-18s to come up with us and show us their qualities. It’s always a good development time for me. I think you get a chance to get back on the training ground and work on players individually as well.

“It’s still a very young group that is evolving. There’s more young people coming into it - Tom Wilson-Brown, Henry Cartwright, Chris Popov. It’s exciting and the young players are getting a chance.”

Assessing the Blues’ qualities, Petty expects a difficult test from the former PL2 champions, with another fixture coming up just three days later, away to Bradford City in the Papa John’s Trophy.

Development Squad

Highlights - Leicester City U21s 0 Liverpool U21s 1

Extended highlights as the Development Squad lose out to an experienced Liverpool side in Premier League 2.

He added: “They have started well and it’s going to be a really tough game. When you go away to Chelsea, you always expect that you’ll have to be on your A-game to get anything out of it. That’s our plan for the weekend.

“Then we’ll recover quickly and play Bradford in the Papa Johns Trophy. When you’ve got two games in such a short space of time, especially at this age group, you have to think about managing the squad and the physical loadings.

“With a lot of our lads being away, we’ll have to assess them coming back from international duty and see who can go again Saturday and then Tuesday. We have to look at that because it’s happening more often.

“We need to learn from the previous game where we’ve played Burton in a short space of time, it’s really good in terms of experience for the lads and learning.”

All times BST.

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