- Leicester City’s Under-18s drew 2-2 with Chelsea at LCFC Training Ground
- The Foxes went ahead twice in Saturday’s U18 Premier League South fixture
- Adam Barradell was frustrated not to claim victory but saw many positives
- City’s overall performance warranted more, he believes
Saturday’s U18 Premier League South encounter ended in a 2-2 draw at LCFC Training Ground, with the young Foxes twice taking the lead through Jake Evans and Josh King, only to be denied victory in stoppage-time, courtesy of Donnell McNeilly’s leveller.
Barradell commented following the game: “From the players to the staff, it was disappointing not to win, given the position that we were in, so we’re disappointed with the result and how the game finished, but the performance level was excellent.
“We were outstanding with and without the ball. It’s possibly our best performance of the season against a really strong Chelsea team which we know well. I’m really proud of the boys in terms of changing shape and taking on some information and new ideas.
There was a spell in the second half where we really pinned them in. The challenge for us is to do it against other category one teams.Adam Barradell
“We’ve worked closely with the Under-21s staff and First Team coaching staff and Manager to implement some different ideas and I thought the boys took that on into the game really well.
“There’s lots of positives, including some really good individual performances. Jake Evans, an Under-16, starting and scoring - he was excellent in the game. We had Bobby Amartey at centre-back and Ryan Donnelly in midfielder.
“It’s really pleasing to see Josh King come back and score too. He’s been out for a couple of months with an injury and he had a really good impact in the game.”
Beaten 3-1 by the Blues in their final game of 2023, in the FA Youth Cup, Barradell felt that the squad responded positively to that setback and were more than a match for the London club this time around.
“We know they’re a good team,” City’s coach explained. “Going out to them in the Youth Cup, we felt it was a bit of a missed opportunity. We didn’t feel we did well enough with the ball, and we wanted to put that right.
Bobby Amartey captained the side in the FA Youth Cup defeat to Chelsea.
“On Saturday there was a spell in the second half where we really pinned them in. The challenge for us is to do it against other category one teams and be as positive with and without the ball, as we were.”
Following a week-long break from competitive fixtures, it’s a trip to Crystal Palace next up in the league for eighth-placed Leicester on Saturday 20 January (11am GMT kick-off), with a host of important matches approaching in the next few weeks.
He added: “We’ve got Crystal Palace and then we’ve got Arsenal and after that we have two quarter-finals coming up in the Under-17s and Under-18s Premier League Cup, so it’s a great month for the boys and their development.
“It’s one that will test them, but one we’re more than ready for and looking forward to, because we’re playing some really good teams and going deep into competitions.”
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