‘U23s can produce a big push’

4th March 2018

Gary Richards has challenged Swansea City Under-23s to maintain their performance levels and deliver a big push in their final five games of the Premier League 2 campaign.

The young Swans will be looking to extend an impressive eight-game unbeaten run in Division One when they face Everton at Goodison Park on Monday (7pm).

Last month’s 2-2 draw against Tottenham helped the development side maintain fourth place in the table with the Toffees just behind them in fifth.

“We have produced an excellent run in recent weeks, but we don’t want to let ourselves down in our final games,” Richards said.

“Our aim must be to produce a big push in our final five games and end the season as well as we can.

“To do that we must maintain the performance levels we have produced over the last few months.

“A stadium game is a great opportunity for this group of players to show how much they have progressed.

“Everton are champions and one of the best academy sides in the country, so we know we need another big performance. If we don’t we will make things very tough for ourselves.”

Five under-18 players have featured for the development side this campaign with Ben Cabango, Kees de Boer, Matthew Blake, Brandon Cooper and Joe Lewis all getting game-time.

Richards has highlighted the impact the academy youngsters have had and admits more young players could get their chance before the end of the season.

“We’ve continued to grow and develop despite constantly rotating the team,” he continued.

“It is very pleasing to have a number of under-18 players coming into the development squad over the last few weeks.

“Our aim is to prepare players for the next level and everyone who has made that step has performed well and been worthy of their place.

“It is important we continue to push younger players into this group. It is very likely more will start to get game time before the end of the season.”

Swansea City Under-23s face Everton at Goodison Park this Monday, March 5 (7pm). The game will be streamed live and free on swanseacity.com.