Perfect Preparation

Richard Walker

UNDER-18s manager Richard Walker says his side could not have wished for better preparation heading into tonight’s FA Youth Cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday.

Stoke City’s youngsters head to Hillsborough off the back of 6-1 win over Reading thanks to goals from James Jennings, Joel Tusevo, Abdoulaye Toure, Adam Porter and a brace by Mo Sankoh.

As a result of their high-scoring victory over the Royals and results elsewhere going in the Potters’ on Saturday it meant that the side advanced through to the final eight of the U18 Premier League Cup.

Walker felt the manner of the performance more at the weekend, more than anything else,should give the squad a massive boost ahead of this evening’s third round clash in Sheffield. 

“We couldn’t have wished for any better preparation to be honest in terms of the performance first and foremost and then obviously the result which came as consequence,” he expressed.

“We also had the added bonus of qualifying for the Quarter-Finals of the U18 Premier League Cup which is a great achievement in its own right.

“The confidence the boys will have gained from that will be massive so yes we are in a really good position going into tonight’s game.”

The Potters will however need to be mindful of their opponents in South Yorkshire this evening as they boost an impressive record this season.

The Owls currently sit top of their respective league table with a plus 27 goal difference, a record far superior than any of their divisional rivals.

Walker is fully aware of the threat tonight’s opponents will pose and says his side must negate the challenges they come up against, whilst also playing their own game.

“They are a good, attacking side who have won a lot of their games this season and are top of their league,” he added.

“They lost against Leeds United at the weekend but the side they fielded that day I expect to be slightly different to what we will encounter tonight. 

“They are a decent side who will certainly provide us with different challenges that we will need to deal with.

“We are fully aware of their strengths and weaknesses but ultimately it will be about us and how we execute our game plan.”