Toshack keen to emulate proud cup history

15th March 2019

Cameron Toshack wants his Swans Under-23s' side to back up their successful history in the Premier League Cup when they host Aston Villa in the last 16 tonight at Landore (7pm).

Having lifted the trophy in 2017 and reached the final 12 months later, the young Swans progressed to the knockout rounds for a third consecutive year after topping Group E with 11 points from six games.

With most of last season’s squad since progressing to the first team, the feat has been achieved mainly with players who made the step-up from the under-18s at the start of the season.

And Toshack is excited to see how his youngsters cope with knockout football.

“The main thing is that it’s been a cup where we’ve introduced younger players and we’ll continue that tonight,” the under-23s' coach said.

“We always look to blood our younger players into this competition and challenge them in several different ways. We’ll continue that tonight.

“We’ve had a proud history in this cup which the players involved are well aware of and will want to impress.

“It’s important that our younger players have the opportunity to play elite under-23 football and we’re looking forward to seeing how they cope with the knockout format. 

“In league football, you can recover but you can’t in the cup. You have to go and win the game, otherwise you’re out.”

This will, of course, be a repeat of last year’s final at the Liberty Stadium, where Villa prevailed 4-1 on penalties to deny the Swans a second consecutive title.

“The players are aware of the disappointment we felt last year having reached our second consecutive final,” added Toshack. “But, we’ll be playing with pretty much a completely different side.

“We’ve played Aston Villa several times over the past few years and they’re always closely-fought contests.

“It should be a great occasion for our young men. They have trained hard and we’re really looking forward to the game.”

You can watch the young Swans in Premier League Cup action LIVE on from 7pm this evening.