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09:00 19th February 2016

by Ben Mouncer

Murty: Rotation likely for Royals clash

GRAEME Murty says he's likely to utilise the depth in his squad when City's Under-18s welcome Reading to Colney Training Centre on Saturday (1pm).

A number of Murty's group featured for the Under-21s in their midweek game away to Chelsea, and he is set to take that into account when selecting his eleven for the youth team's last league match before the final phase of fixtures are released next week.

With the current 12-team North and South Groups set to be divided into three national tiers based on league position, City's Group 3 fate is already decided irrespective of the result this weekend - although they would climb above Brighton & Hove Albion into ninth place with victory.

Previewing the game, Murty told "I spoke to Reading's Academy and they've got Chelsea away at Stamford Bridge in the FA Youth Cup next week, so they didn't want to bring their full squad.

"It's interesting for us because we've had a few that have played up in the Under-21s, so we're going to look at those that have had a lot of load and possibly take the view that it's more important that they have some rest time.

"One of the things we feel with young athletes is that we have to work them hard, but they also have to recover properly. This is one of the vital things they need to learn."

Murty still wants his side to have a competitive edge against the club the former right-back represented as a player for 11 years between 1998 and 2009.

City's Under-18s coach made 339 appearances for the Royals, captaining them to the Championship title in the 2005-06 campaign.

"For me, it's always a bittersweet moment when they turn up. I definitely want to beat them!" he said.

"We have to expect Reading to be a top team because they're second in the league. I know all of their staff and I know how they recruit, and what they do is very impressive.

"I just want to the team to go out and perform as I've said throughout the season, whichever team we put out.

"The players know the expectations we have of them and that I have of them in particular. Regardless of who plays, they know the minimum standards that we expect."

L - 0-1 v Tottenham Hotspur (A) 13/02/2016 - Barclays U18s Premier League
W – 5-4 (AET) v Middlesbrough (H) 03/02/2016 - FA Youth Cup
W – 2-3 v Southampton (A) 30/01/2016 - Barclays U18s Premier League
W – 1-4 v Sunderland (A) 13/01/2016 - FA Youth Cup
L – 1-2 v Brighton & Hove Albion (H) 09/01/2016 - Barclays U18s Premier League

LAST NORWICH CITY U18s XI (v Tottenham Hotspur)
Beauchamp; Syme, Lewis, Pollock, Ellesley (Odusina, 85), Crowe (Aransibia, 75), Couzens, Sambu, Ashley-Seal, McIntosh, Jaiyesimi: Subs not used: Oxborough (GK), Da Costa, Kamal.


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