Preview | Reading U23s v Swansea City U23s
Swansea City Under-23s coach Gary Richards has encouraged his youthful squad to grasp the opportunity to build on their positive Premier League Cup start when they take on Reading this afternoon (3pm).
Supporters are advised that the match will not be available to view on swanseacity.com or our official Facebook page.
The young Swans travel to the Laithwaite Community Stadium – home of non-league Woking FC – looking to make it two wins from two in Group A following their 2-1 victory over Charlton Athletic last month.
The development side are currently on a run of three consecutive defeats but, despite the results, there have been plenty of positives with several younger players handed the opportunity to make the step-up.
Richards says that will be the case again on Friday and has urged them to take their chance with both hands.
“It’s another good opportunity for our younger players to make the step-up,” he said.
“As an academy, we said at the start of the season that this competition would allow us to bring a few under-18s through and give them the opportunity to show what they can do. All we ask of them is that they take that on board.
“We’re playing at a non-league ground and it’s great for them to experience opportunities like this at a younger age.
“We’ll be looking for them and our more established players to put in a good performance.
“We’ve made a good start in this competition with a really good performance and win away at Charlton. We want to try to build on that.”
This will be the second time the Swans have faced Reading this season.
The young Royals were commanding 5-0 winners when the sides met at the Madejski Stadium in Premier League 2 Division 2 in September.
However, the Swans responded magnificently by embarking on a five-match unbeaten run that included that victory at Charlton, as well as the thumping 5-1 victory over Porto B in the Premier League International Cup.
“We had a tough time at Reading back in September," added Richards.
“We haven’t had too many of those results over the years. But that is the industry we’re in; you do have setbacks.
“The good thing is that we learnt the lesson from it and followed it up with a few positive results.
“Therefore, we like to think that we’ve put it behind us and become stronger for it.”