Preview | Swansea City U23s v Middlesbrough U23s
Swansea City Under-23s coach Jon Grey has urged the development side to maintain their recent work ethic and commitment levels during today’s showdown with Middlesbrough (1pm).
Fans can watch the young Swans in action on swanseacity.com and our official Facebook page from 1pm today.
The young Swans welcome Boro to Landore off the back of a four-match unbeaten run in Premier League 2 Division Two.
They claimed their second win of that span with a 1-0 victory over Stoke last week, courtesy of Liam Cullen’s first-half penalty at Harrison Park, and aim to build on that in their first home game of 2020.
The under-23s have endured contrasting fortunes at Landore in recent times. After going unbeaten there between December 2017 and September 2018, they failed to record a single league victory at the academy during last season.
Then, after opening this term with a four-match unbeaten run, they have lost three of their last four.
Grey has encouraged his players to focus on making Landore a fortress once more as they look to build on their recent momentum.
“I just want the boys to carry on doing what they have been over the past few games,” the under-23s coach said.
“Their work ethic and commitment has been top drawer in every game – particularly during the last three.
“It’s always nice to play at home. It’s a good opportunity for the people higher up in the club to come and watch the boys.
“It’s also a chance for the fans to come and have a look at the young talent we have coming through at the academy.
“We want to perform and play well, particularly at home when all the players are on show to everyone.
“Home form is really important to us. If we can turn Landore into a venue that nobody likes to play at then that would be fantastic.”
Last week saw the club award two-year contract extensions to under-23s regulars Josh Gould and Tivonge Rushesha.
Grey has praised the development side duo but insists they cannot rest of their laurels and must continue to strive towards their ultimate aim of first-team football with the Swans.
“It’s fantastic for the two lads. They’re both very hardworking and their performances have deserved the recognition they have received,” he added.
“The club recognise that as well and have rewarded them with contracts.
“Obviously, their aim is to get into the first-team environment so while it’s good that they’ve got a new contract, nothing changes with regards to their daily routine.
“They still have to work hard, push and develop every day to take that next step up to the first team.”