- Leicester’s Under-18s face Aston Villa at Bodymoor Heath Training Ground
- Saturday’s fixture has a 12pm GMT kick-off
- The Foxes were defeated by Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Youth Cup on Friday evening
- Execution in the final third must improve, states Barradell
Friday the 13th proved to be an unlucky day for the young Foxes, who were eliminated from the FA Youth Cup by Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Logan Briggs and Reece Evans gave City a two-goal lead, but eventually saw that slip away as Joshua Chapman, Bailey Cadamarteri and Rio Shipston completed a turnaround for the Owls.
Now returning to league action, Barradell must help to inspire a group of lads looking to climb off the bottom of the standings against Aston Villa.
“We were disappointed on the night,” the coach told LCFC.com. “But like I said we’re focused on the long-term development so the lads were straight back in and we were looking at how we can improve and what we did do well.
It’s always competitive against Aston Villa, and we’ll be looking to impose ourselves on the match to try and improve our current league standings.Adam Barradell LCFC.com
“We want to focus on improving as individuals and as a group and looking forward rather than looking back on the defeat too much.
“The big thing we’ve got to take from it is to be braver on the ball. The lads have got to show a bit more control and better execution of the technical aspects that we are trying to inspire."
While not ignoring the current league form, City's coach explains how it is the long term development and progression of each age group that must be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
“They need to be prepared for the Premier League 2 football that some of them will be going into next year,” he continued. “Defensively, we want to improve our pressing and organisation, and in the final third of the pitch, we weren’t quite good enough and it wasn’t like us.
“Some of it, you’ve got to look at individual performances, but overall, those are our two aspects of the game that we are trying to improve. Our execution in the final third and our defensive stability out of possession.
Ben Grist in action for Leicester's Under-18s.
“What is important is that we’ve got plenty of games left in the season and therefore opportunities to continue to grow and learn as a group. We’ll have more Under-16s looking to get around the team which is also pleasing."
Looking to replicate a similar winning mentality and desire that they displayed against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the earlier stages of the cup, Barradell confirms that the Foxes will be raring to go come Saturday.
“The boys are looking forward to the game,” the coach added. “It’s always competitive against Aston Villa, and we’ll be looking to impose ourselves on the match to try and improve our current league standings.
“But also aiming to push more lads through to the Under-21s, so deeper into the season I’m sure you’ll see a few boys featuring in the Development Squad in the second half of the campaign.
“As a group we let ourselves down with our display at Hillsborough against Sheffield Wednesday, it was the complete opposite against Wolves. So, if we perform like we did in the earlier round of the cup then things should work out."
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