Ben Petty

City's Under-21s Were Terrific, Says Petty

Coach Ben Petty believes Leicester City's Development Squad deserved more from Saturday's 2-2 draw at Chelsea in Premier League 2 Division 1.
More on this story...

- Leicester City's Development Squad battled to a 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Saturday
- Kasey McAteer hit both of City's goals at Kingsmeadow in Premier League 2 Division 1
- Coach Ben Petty praised the resilience and the quality on show from the Club's youngsters
- They next take on Bradford City's senior side in the Papa Johns Trophy next week

Two long-range strikes from Kasey McAteer levelled goals from Charlie Webster and Omari Hutchinson at Kingsmeadow to seal an impressive point for the young Foxes. Late opportunities for Chris Popov and Terell Pennant, though, meant the visitors left disappointed not to be taking three points.

It's a result which leaves City's youngsters ninth in the top tier of the Premier League 2 pyramid after seven games and Petty was delighted with much of what he saw in Kingston upon Thames. He was also impressed by the resilience of the players to twice come from behind.

"I thought we were terrific, especially in the second half," he told LCFC TV at full-time. "Going a goal behind twice in the game [and levelling twice] shows the fighting spirit that we’ve got in the team and I thought we were on the front foot [in] the second half.

"We created lots of chances, some good play, and I thought we deserved to win it. I’m delighted with the result, but we’ve got to be a little bit more clinical in front of goal. I thought one or two decisions went against us, that can affect the team, but I didn’t think it did.

[Having four scholars involved] shows you’ve got some good young talent at the Club and, if they’re performing, it shows you that there’s a pathway.

Ben Petty LCFC TV

"The lads kept going. They showed a great resilience to come from 2-1 down at half-time and we should have probably won the game, but a point away from home at Chelsea is a good result."

McAteer admitted to LCFC TV later on that he did not mean for his first effort to fly into the roof of the net from the left channel, but there was no doubting former Forest Green Rovers loanee's second strike. Petty was pleased for the youngster in the capital.

"I think he's trying to claim that he meant the first one, but the second one he definitely meant!" Petty added. "I thought Kasey was terrific today… I thought they all were. The second goal was very pleasing.

"We got the ball into Chris [Popov], as the striker, we played it off, went wide, and that was something we’ve worked on as a team, so I’m delighted for Kasey and it’s a shame we just couldn’t stick a few more in the net."

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Henry Cartwright
Henry Cartwright

Henry Cartwright was one of four scholars to feature for City's Under-21s.

Alongside Popov, the inclusions of Henry Cartwright, Tom Wilson-Brown and Will Alves in the XI meant there were four scholars involved on Saturday.

"I thought they were all excellent and then Chris came off the bench, so we finished with four scholars on the pitch," Petty explained. "It shows you’ve got some good young talent at the Club and, if they’re performing, it shows you that there’s a pathway."

Next up, Leicester's Under-21s take on Bradford City's senior side in the Papa Johns Trophy. Mark Hughes' men are unbeaten in seven matches and currently occupy fourth place in Sky Bet League 2. It promises to be an almighty test of the Club's youngsters, but it's one Petty is looking forward to.

"It’s a great challenge," he said. "We need to recover well. We’ve only got, really, tomorrow and Monday to prepare, so it’s a tough ask for the lads, but it’s one we’re really looking forward to. It’s not three good performances on the bounce, so we go there with good confidence."

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