Gary Richards | Let's stay focused

17th October 2019
Gary Richards

Swansea City Under-23s coach Gary Richards has called for focus from the development side as they look to build on their impressive form following the international break.

The young Swans are currently on a run of four consecutive victories in all competitions ahead of returning to action against Manchester United in Premier League 2 Division Two at Landore on Monday (7pm).

A pair of 1-0 league wins over Sunderland and Newcastle United sandwiched a memorable 5-1 rout of former champions FC Porto B in the Premier League International Cup.

The development side then launched their Premier League Cup campaign with a narrow 2-1 success away at Charlton – stretching their unbeaten run to five games.

Richards believes the under-23s have been good value for their run, but has urged them to maintain their consistency.

“It’s nice to return from the international break in good form,” he said.

“The players have worked very hard and it’s helped us put a good run together.

“It’s very important now that we maintain our focus and keep our performance levels up.”

Richards and Cameron Toshack have utilised a total of 27 different players so far this season.

The likes of 17-year-old Tivonge Rushesha have become regulars for the under-23s, while Josh Thomas and Ali Al-Hamadi are among five players to have made their debuts at this level.

However, Richards insists that the younger players are being given their opportunities on merit rather than out of courtesy.

“We have to make it clear that we don’t just put the younger players in for the sake of it,” he added.

“We do it with the expectation that they can slot into the team, help us achieve a positive result and keep our winning run going.

“At the moment, they’re producing the goods.”