- Leicester City’s Development Squad tackle Manchester City on Friday evening
- The young Foxes are yet to register a point in Premier League 2 Division 1
- Coach Ben Petty previewed the fixture with the league leaders this week
- The team have shown they can compete with the best in the division, he says
As the Foxes youngsters prepare to face the league leaders at LCFC Training Ground, they are still searching for their first points of the New Year, currently sitting 13th in PL2 after 13 games.
Speaking ahead of the 7pm GMT kick-off, which will be broadcast live on LCFC TV, the coach revealed there was a need to move on quickly from the frustrations of conceding late on at Arsenal last Friday, which denied Leicester a deserved draw.
“I think there was some disappointment, especially when we started the week,” he told LCFC.com from Seagrave. “We’ve had a good chat and a good analysis session on what we did really well, and it’s been a good training week, which is really positive.
It’s a great challenge for us but one that the staff and the players are all looking to and we’re working hard towards it.Ben Petty LCFC.com
“Results have been disappointing and we’re obviously looking to address that but we’ve had some good performances, and a lot of good development going on. We’re tried to get the squad younger and blood younger players.”
Opposition doesn’t come much tougher than Manchester City, top of the table with just two defeats so far this term. Wins over Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion saw Brian Barry-Murphy’s side start the New Year in impressive form, but Leicester must concentrate on their own strengths as a team, Petty believes.
The 45-year-old explained: “They are a fantastic side. They have got some brilliant players. They are probably the elite academy in the country at this time with the resources they’ve got and the recruitment they’ve got.
“It’s a great challenge for us but one that the staff and the players are all looking to and we’re working hard towards it.
Highlights - Arsenal U21s 2 Leicester City U21s 1
Extended highlights from the Premier League 2 Division 1 encounter at Meadow Park.
“We’ve tried to remind the players of the performance here in Seagrave last season when we got a 0-0 draw and arguably, we probably edged it on the night, so we’ve got nothing to fear.
“We’ve also got some quality players and we just need to make sure we defend really well, play as a team and allow our flair players to do their stuff.”
Without a host of players through injury or involvement, everyone needs to play their part in pulling the team away from the bottom of the table. The fixture are coming thick and fast too, hosting Celtic in the International Cup next Wednesday followed by a trip to Brighton & hove Albion back in PL2 five days later.
Petty added: “From a positive point of view, we’ve got Kasey [McAteer], Sammy [Braybrooke] and Lewis [Brunt] with the first team. Ben [Nelson] has gone out on loan and we’ve got a number of key injuries but it’s opportunities for the other players in the group to step up.
We always saw January as a really difficult month and it’s about pitting our wits against the best sides in the divisions. It’s another big challenge.Ben Petty LCFC.com
“Sometimes when you’ve got a smaller squad, it brings everyone together a little bit and there will be lots of opportunities for the lads who are fit to play.
“At this age, it’s about opportunities and none of our players can say they haven’t had opportunities. Hopefully you can see a lot of development in the young players.
“We always saw January as a really difficult month and it’s about pitting our wits against the best sides in the divisions. It’s another big challenge against Celtic and an away game to finish the month against Brighton.
“It couldn’t get any tougher for us. We’re hoping these tough games hold us in good stead for the rest of the season.”
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