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Match Previews

PREVIEW: FA Youth Cup Quarter Final

Tony Philliskirk hoping his youngsters can cause an upset at Etihad Academy Stadium

3 March 2020

Tony Philliskirk is hoping his youngsters can cause an upset in their FA Youth Cup quarter-final at Manchester City.

The Clarets, who have knocked out Curzon Ashton, Mansfield Town, and West Bromwich Albion on their route to the last eight, will be looking to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2012.

And Philliskirk insists his side must go into Wednesday night's tie with belief, confidence and hope that they can pull off a shock against the two-time winners and eight-time runners-up at the Etihad Academy Stadium.

The U18s boss said: “Personally, I am really looking forward to it. It was a fantastic achievement getting past West Brom in the last round.

“I went to watch the last round City played in. They obviously have some outstanding individuals and a very strong team, but we watched the game and think there may be one or two areas we can exploit.

“It’s a game we have to go into full of positivity and belief. The hope that we can go there and get a result has to be there.

“I have said all season, this group have got stronger and stronger and play some really good football and no game is bigger than this one.

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“They have some very talented players, but then so do we. We just have to go with the right mindset, prepare right and see what the night brings us.

“We won’t change anything just because it’s Manchester City. We play our way and that’s what we will do that night - maybe tweak one or two tactics, but all in all just go there with a positive mindset and believe we can come away with something.”

Since the turn of year, many of the youth team scholars have stepped up to the U23s, with 11 members of Andy Farrell’s squad leaving the club on loan.

And Philliskirk believes that recent experience, along with the chance a couple have had to train with the first team, may just gave the youngsters a little extra boost of confidence.

“The 18s have obviously all been playing for the U23s recently, with the older lads all going out on loan and they have done terrific for them as well," he added.

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“They have been working with Andy Farrell and Ian Jones, learning new things and picking up little bits from the older group, which will only improve them.

“Maybe on the night one or two of their excellent individuals might have a slight off day, we just have to believe we can do it.

“But all the lads are up for it, they have been terrific all season, so we will just have to see what happens on the night."

City, coached by former Claret Gareth Taylor and 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League's Under-18 northern group, have lost just twice in all competitions this season, drawing once and winning 22 times.

On route to the quarter-final, the Blues beat Swansea City in the third round, Aston Villa in the fifth and Fulham in the sixth.

The game kicks off at 7pm at City's Academy Stadium (opposite the Etihad).

Tickets, priced at £3 and £1, are avaliable to purchase online. You can also pay on the night City's ticket outlet, based at the Etihad Academy Stadium.

Live updates will be avaliable on the night on Twitter (@Burnleyofficial), followed by a report and reaction.

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