Preview | Everton U23s v Swansea City U23s
Coach Jon Grey expects Swansea City Under-23s to cope with the pressure of their Premier League International Cup group decider against Everton tonight (7pm).
Please note that the game will not be available to view via SwansTV Live.
The young Swans travel to Finch Farm in a hugely favourable position ahead their final group game of this season’s competition.
Following a 1-1 draw with PSV Eindhoven II and a thumping 5-1 victory over former winners Porto B, Grey’s side top Group D with four points; and only a defeat by three or more goals would prevent them from progressing to the quarter-finals for the first time in three years.
Grey is fully aware of the challenge that awaits in Everton, who won the league-and-cup double last season – beating the Swans in the Premier League Cup semi-finals along the way.
However, the under-23s coach expects his players to rise to the occasion and should they advance in the competition, he insists they will certainly have earned the right to do so.
“It’s going to be very tough; we understand that but it’s a challenge we’ll look forward to,” he said.
“I’m expecting Everton to put a strong squad out and really go for it. It will be an excellent test for our group of players to see how far they’ve come.
“It’s important for our players not to panic and for them to be able to cope with the pressure of the situation.
“It’s an opportunity for the boys to progress in what is arguably the biggest competition they will play in at this stage of their careers. To go on and qualify is a massive incentive for them.
“Hopefully, they keep their heads, defend really well and go on to qualify for the next round. Once you get to that stage, anything can happen.
“To qualify from a group that also features last season’s double winners as well as previous two-time winners in Porto; it would be an unbelievable achievement.”