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ACADEMY: Sky Blues Under-18s targeting consistency with young group

The young Sky Blues fell to a 4-2 defeat against Reading on Saturday morning...

4 April 2023

Sky Blues Under-18s fell to a 4-2 defeat against Reading on Saturday with Gary Mills' young group targeting consistency in the Under-18s Professional Development League.

After a dominant start from the Sky Blues, it was Reading who took the lead, with a counter-attack sucker-punch, and doubled their lead in similar vein moments later.

However, by the break, City had fought back to being level thanks to an own-goal followed by a Charlie Manners penalty.

"We actually started really brightly," said Mills. "We were on the front foot, as we demand, and we dominated possession until they hit us with counter-attack goals.

"They scored an own goal to make it 2-1 and then Charlie Manners leveled the game but we showed some great desire to fight back to that point. I was really happy with the way we played in possession but we need to be better at the top end of the pitch."

With a number of the City's most advanced Under-18s players stepping up to represent the Under-21s side on Monday night, Mills was left with a young group as he took on a Reading side that fielded a number of professional players.

"We had a lot of Under-16s involved, which is really good. They’re starting to get a feel of this level," said Mills.


"Reading had a number of professional players on the pitch, they were an old Under-18s side, but that’s no excuse.

"We need our players to showcase their abilities against any opposition. We want to be harder to play against but we always want to enjoy the ball and trust players on the ball.

"We’ve had a lot of change with so many of our players going up to the Under-21s. Eventually, this will become the norm and it will be an Under-17s group playing at Under-18s level.

"We’re hoping it settles down and then we will get some consistency. The performances will follow."

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