Cameron Toshack insists there is plenty of incentive for Swansea City Under-23s ahead of their Premier League 2 showdown with West Ham United at the Liberty Stadium this evening (7pm).
The young Swans, who are unbeaten in four matches in all competitions, can move off the foot of the table and above the Hammers with victory this evening.
This will be the under-23s’ second of three league games they must play at the Liberty between now and the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Graham Potter and his coaching staff are likely to be casting an eager eye over proceedings, having already promoted several younger players in the first team this season.
And Toshack admits those two factors offer his players plenty of motivation ahead of tonight’s game.
“The boys always relish the opportunity to play on stadium pitches – whether it is home or away,” the under-23s coach said.
“Playing at the Liberty Stadium is always special and adds a little bit of spice to the game.
“Obviously, we’d like to be in a better position than we are but, having reflected with the players, we’ve often felt that our results haven’t gone in hand-in-hand with our performances.
“Even though we want them to win games, we’re looking for the players to deliver consistent performance levels so that they can improve and subsequently move to the next level.
“If these boys do well, there’s an opportunity for them to be in and around the first-team environment. Graham and his staff have been fantastic with the younger players that have made that step-up and done very well.
“Wherever you are in the league or cup, that is a really good incentive for the players.”
The young Swans will be aiming to avenge the 5-3 defeat they suffered in the reverse fixture against West Ham in October.
They found themselves 4-0 down following a disappointing first-half performance but showed great resilience after the break to claw their way back to 4-3, before eventually succumbing in the dying moments of the contest.
“We felt we let ourselves down in the first game, particularly in the first half,” Toshack reflected.
“I don’t think anybody would’ve argued if we’d levelled the game because, for the last 15 or 20 minutes, we were on top but had given ourselves a mountain to climb.
“We’ll be looking to avoid that this time around.”
You can watch the young Swans in Premier League 2 action LIVE on swanseacity.com from 7pm.
Once again, you can also watch for free at the Liberty and raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust’s unit in the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.