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28 January 2016

FA Youth Cup spots 'up for grabs', says Academy coach

NORWICH City's Under-18s have been instructed to 'earn their places' for the FA Youth Cup when they visit Southampton on Saturday (11am).

That's the message being given by coach Alan Nielson, who views the Saints as ideal opposition ahead of Wednesday's tie against Middlesbrough at Carrow Road.

Previewing the Barclays Under-18s Premier League clash, the 43-year-old told "The players know they need to perform in this match, first and foremost.

"Southampton are near to us in the league standings so it's a game we want to go and win. When we played them at home it was a battle, and in that respect we know what to expect.

"It's important the players meet the standards they've set in order to earn their place for Wednesday. That's a game everybody is looking forward to, but this is our focus for now."

Keen to build on the knowledge gained from their previous meeting against a side managed by former City stalwart Craig Fleming, Nielson added: "We know they are likely to play a 4-3-3 formation and try to press as much as possible.

"It's our job to be good enough with the ball to counteract that, and to score goals. The boys are ready for a long trip, and understand the need to play well.

"In our recent away games in the FA Youth Cup we've been absolutely superb. We've worked hard since our last game, which was against Sunderland, and they are all raring to go.

"At this stage of the season everyone has slight niggles, which we'll assess. Overall though it's an opportunity for the lads to put their name on the teamsheet for Wednesday."

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
L –  2-0 v Fulham (A) 19/12/2015 - Barclays U18s Premier League 
W – 3-2 v Leicester City (H) 05/12/2015 - Barclays U18s Premier League
W – 1-3 v Hull City (A) 02/12/2015 - FA Youth Cup

Oxborough; Ramsay, Ellesley (Wallis, 23), Crowe (c), Syme; Pollock, McIntosh, Lewis, Cantwell (Sambu, 83), Middleton; Ashley-Seal (Couzens, 86). Subs not used: Hale-Brown (GK), Fleming. LAST NORWICH CITY U18s XI (v Sunderland)

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