Gary Richards has urged Swansea City Under-23s to deliver a positive performance against Oxford United in their final home group game of this season’s Premier League Cup on Saturday (12pm).
The young Swans welcome Oxford to Landore for the Group E clash, with both sides locked on four points from their opening three matches, one behind leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The development side were beaten 1-0 by the U’s in their opening game of this year’s competition, before following it up with a 1-1 draw against Wolves and 2-1 victory over Hull City.
This is Oxford’s first appearance in the competition, which the Swans won in 2017 before reaching the final 12 months later, having established an under-23's side at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
Nevertheless, Richards is fully aware of the threat they pose and has underlined the importance of getting a result on Saturday ahead of two tough away trips to Wolves (February 8) and Hull (February 22).
“This is our last game at home before two tricky away matches, so it’s important that we perform well and give a good account of ourselves,” the under-23s coach said.
“You only have to look at their results in this competition to know that we will be in for a tough game. All of their matches have been competitive just as it was when we played them at their place.
“We were disappointed to lose against them in our first match of this season’s competition. We had a lot possession, but just didn’t turn it into goals.
“Since then, we’ve done well by getting a win against Hull and a draw against Wolves, which has put us in a good position going into this game.
“As everyone knows, it’s a cup that we’ve done particularly well in over the last couple of years. Both times, we have grown stronger as the tournament has gone on and I hope that is the case again this season.”