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'I'll be looking to make the players better every day. They need to come back ready for the hard work.' - Coventry City's Darren Murray

24 June 2014

The Under-18s manager believes some of the young players could feature for the first-team in pre-season...

Coventry City Under-18s manager Darren Murray will be striving to improve the Sky Blues' Under-18s players when they return for pre-season next week.

It will be the first pre-season the Under-18s will experience with the former Hearts coach who joined the Sky Blues in October 2013.

The Academy side enjoyed a strong end to the 2013/14 season with wins over Nottingham Forest, Crewe Alexandra and league champions Huddersfield Town on the final day of the season. 

Some of the Under-18s squad featured for the first team in pre-season last summer and Murray believes that should provide plenty of motivation for the City youngsters.

The Under-18s boss said: "On the first couple of days, we'll be testing them and putting them through their paces to make sure they'll get up to the levels required.

"First and foremost, I just want to see them with a smile on their face and enjoying themselves. We have the new guys coming in and we've been boosted by the GPS equipment the club has acquired over the summer so we can really track their progress.

"Some of the Under-18s side will probably feature for the first team over pre-season so that should provide them with the extra impetus needed in pre-season.

"It'll be a chance for them to express themselves and play in some first team friendlies. At the end of the day, the goal for these lads is to play in the first team so even if they can do it in pre-season, it'll be great for their progress going into the Under-18s and Under-21s season."

The Under-18s squad will be joined by Jacob Whitmore, Jordan Shipley, Bassala Sambou, Jay Albini, Callum Maycock and Corey Addai who have moved up from Under-16s level.

Having ended last season strongly, Murray still wants to see the young players improve this season.

He added: "We need to get better. Every day, I'll be looking to make the players better at what they do. I've got to get better as a coach along with them as well as we need to collectively improve.

"We'll be working extremely hard to make sure we improve on last season. We ended the season brilliantly but I know that some of the players can get better.

"The improvement we saw last season was brilliant. The players ended the season working harder than they ever have before. 

"Some of the performances against some of the better sides was really encouraging. It isn't all about results but people know when they play against us that we will look to play."

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