O'Leary targets derby win

18th January 2014

Kristian O'Leary believes the chance to win local bragging rights should be a significant incentive for his Under-21s side when they host Cardiff City on Monday night (7pm).

In the second South Wales derby of the development league season, Swansea City U21s face their Welsh rivals in front of a home crowd at the Liberty Stadium.

The young Swans were narrowly beaten 1-0 in the last all-Welsh Professional Development League 2 encounter, but O'Leary is confident his side are a much improved side from the team that travelled to Cardiff back in September.

"We have improved since then," said the U21s boss. "The fluidity of the team - certainly before Christmas - has improved. 

"When we played them last time, it wasn't our best performance, but we hit the bar twice and missed a couple of one-on-ones, which has been the story of our season really.

"Our energy levels and work rate have to be high on Monday. Everyone has to make sure they're doing their jobs correctly and that we put our chances away when we get them.

"Some of the squad have played at the Liberty; some haven't. It's a far bigger pitch than Stebonheath, which should suit us. 

"We will have to wait and see, but it will be a good experience for the youngsters."

The Swans boss also said the opportunity to get one over the club's local rivals should provide extra motivation for his young side.

"It certainly should," said O'Leary. "It did when I was playing, whether it be for the youth team, reserves or first-team.

"But we have to give Cardiff credit. Their academy has been going a while, and they have good people working there - a friend of mine is the manager.

"They're a good side, who are top of the league, and they use their senior players well. They always have senior players playing in the team, which certainly helps."

Supporters are invited to come and cheer on the young Swans at the Liberty Stadium on Monday night. For further details, click HERE.