'It’s a must-win game'

12th February 2018

Cameron Toshack insists Swansea City Under-23s must give everything to win against Newcastle at Landore to keep the defence of their Premier League Cup title alive (1pm).

Victory over Colchester last month kept the young Swans third in Group D, three points behind the Magpies and Burnley in the automatic qualification positions.

A strong Newcastle side defeated the Swans 6-3 in the return fixture before Christmas with first-team midfielder Jack Colback among those who found the target that day.

But Toshack believes today’s game is a chance to put that result right - and feels the Swans must learn to thrive from the pressure.

“There is pressure to win today.” he admits. “But sometimes that is a good position because it helps a player’s development.

“The pressure only adds something to the game. The players know they have to give it their best. From a coaching perspective it will help you understand the player better.

“We are fully aware of the importance of the match and I think we are all looking forward to a different challenge.

“Newcastle are always a very competitive outfit. They proved it with a very strong team the last time we met in the competition before Christmas.”

Under-23s players Daniel James and Adnan Maric could be called on to feature once again for the development side.

The pair made their first-team debuts in last week’s FA Cup victory over Notts County at the Liberty Stadium and Toshack believes their opportunities have had a positive impact on the team.

“It was fantastic to see two of our young players get minutes at a first-team level,” he said.

“It has a positive effect on other players in the squad because they can see there is a pathway and opportunity at a higher level.

“Today’s team could see changes once again and it could be a huge opportunity for some of our younger players to step up.

“It is up to them to see whether they can rise to the challenge and maintain the run of form we have produced in recent weeks. Myself and Gary (Richards) want these lads to take it with both hands.”

Swansea City Under-23s face Newcastle United at 1pm at Landore this afternoon. Entry is free for fans but there is no parking at the facility. The game will be streamed live on www.swanseacity.com and with updates on Twitter @swansofficial.