Preview | Stoke City U23s v Swansea City U23s
Swansea City Under-23s interim coach Jon Grey has called for maximum effort from his players as they take on Stoke City in their first match of 2020 (7pm).
Please note that the game will not be available to view via SwansTV Live.
The young Swans travel to Harrison Park for the Premier League 2 Division Two showdown aiming to build on their positive end to 2019.
The development side claimed a dramatic late victory against Norwich City thanks to Kees de Boer’s stoppage-time free-kick, before holding Aston Villa to a 1-1 draw at Bodymoor Heath.
The Swans demonstrated terrific levels of commitment during both games, and were unlucky not to collect all three points in the latter against Villa.
Grey has challenged his players to produce more of the same on Monday against fourth-placed Stoke, who have won two of their last three games, whilst also showing their capabilities to Steve Cooper and the first-team coaching staff.
“We have a very young squad this year and this will be a great opportunity for the players to shine and show the first-team staff what they’re capable of doing,” he said.
“It’s another good learning curve for them as individuals in their development.
“The one thing I ask is that we outwork, outrun and out-commit our opposition. We’ve got enough talent in our ranks to compete with anyone on a technical and tactical level. It’s also about pride and making sure that they all win their own individual battles.
“We go into every game to try and win. Stoke will provide tough opposition. They’re doing quite well in the league so it will be a difficult game – just like any other.
“We produced an excellent performance away at Villa last time out. I asked the boys to give everything and they did that. The only disappointing thing to come from the game was the fact that we didn’t win.”
Head of coaching at the academy, Grey stepped into the under-23s role on a temporary basis last month following the departures of Gary Richards and Cameron Toshack, who took over as head coach at Cypriot side Pafos FC, with under-16s coach Matty Jones serving as his assistant.
Part of the academy set-up for 10 years and formerly coach of the under-18s side, Grey has helped develop most of the current squad during their time with the club – a factor he feels has paved the way for a smooth transition into the role.
“I’ve really enjoyed it all so far. It’s been good to get back out on the grass,” he added.
“Spending the final six months of last season working with Gary and Cameron has put me in good stead.
“Apart from a couple of players, I’ve worked with pretty much all of them at some point during their journeys with the academy.
“That has certainly made the transition a lot easier.”