- Leicester City’s Development Squad are in Premier League Cup action on Friday
- The young Foxes welcome Burnley to LCFC Training Ground (7pm BST kick-off)
- The players are adapting to the new style of play, says Brandon Cover
After an opening day win against Derby County to kickstart their 2023/24 Premier League 2 campaign, City have endured several defeats, most recently to Norwich City at the start of the month at LCFC Training Ground.
Leicester found themselves 2-0 up at half-time thanks to goals from Silko Thomas and Tawanda Maswanhise, but Cover admits a lack of aggression allowed the Canaries back to a 3-2 win.
“We were comfortable in the game at 2-0 up,” the midfielder told LCFC.com. “We scored two well-taken goals, and had a great penalty save from Brad [Young] which kept our momentum going into the second half where we played well for the first 10 minutes.
The Foxes beat Deby County on the opening day of the season.
“But they got three goals in 20 minutes which is not good from our standards. We adapted to work with the momentum that they had, and they didn’t really break us down. Two of their goals came from corners which is disappointing.
“I think they got back into the game because of our lack of aggression, and winning the second balls, which isn’t good enough. Ultimately they’re going to have the better chances to score if they’re getting the first contact inside the box.
“We need to be stronger in our duels, which is what we’ve been working on in training. We’re trying to get better as a team, and as individuals and I’m sure we’ll put it right against Burnley.”
The Jamaican international has spent time training with the first team this year, and appreciates the influence that manager Enzo Maresca has had on City’s Under-21s and his own development.
You’re never not learning when you’re training with the first team.Brandon Cover
He explained how the Italian has altered the playing style within the Academy for the better, allowing more control during games.
The 19-year-old continued: “We know that we played well in the first 45 minutes (against Norwich) and it’s just about carrying that forward for the second half so that we play like that for the full 90.
“The manager has got us playing a new style of football this year, which is different but we’re adapting well. That’s why we can get early goals, but it’s about sustaining the pressure and not letting off to let teams get back into games.
“Maresca is a terrific manager, and we’re trying to copy their style, while adding our own twist. But we’re trying our best to play out of from the back like he wants us to and keep the ball in the opposition half – I like the approach because it involves having a lot of the ball which suits my game.
On the ball in Seagrave.
“Playing with the first team is the end goal. If I can play their football, or even compete with it, then that’s the standard, so when I play for the Development Squad, I hope I can bring back what I’ve learnt.
“I also know what Enzo wants from me as a player so I can use that to help myself grow as an individual, but also use that information to help my team-mates and try to develop as a team on the pitch. You’re never not learning when you’re training with the first team.”
City have had a one week break in fixtures which has allowed for some crucial time to reflect on the start of the season, and evaluate how to go forward in their upcoming games, starting with Burnley on Friday night.
This week’s match-up in Seagrave provides opportunity to pursue success in a different competition, and to ignite some confidence within the squad that will then translate back to PL2.
We got knocked out in the group stages last year, after some good results, but this year we want to reach the next stage.Brandon Cover
“We’ve had a bit of time in-between fixtures to perfect our craft,” Cover explained. “Not a lot of the lads were on international duty so we could keep at it. We’ve analysed our previous games and now we’re preparing to face Burnley.
“What we’ve learnt is that we need to focus on ourselves. We know Burnley are a physical team, we’ve watched their clips and we know they like to play long balls and get in and around the box. I know they’re not in our league, but it’ll be a good test because we’ve never played them before so it will be something new for us.
“Knowing Leicester, we always try and go far in every competition. We got knocked out in the group stages last year, after some good results, but this year we want to reach the next stage.
“The more we win, the more confidence we’ll get as the rounds progress, so it’s just about focusing on what’s in front of us, but it would be nice to follow the first team’s winning mentality and get some silverware.”
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