Sam Ricketts previews Town's Leasing.Com fixture with Manchester City's under 21's.
Shrewsbury Town face a quick turn-around as Sam Ricketts and his team welcome Manchester City’s under 21’s to the Montgomery Waters Meadow tomorrow evening for another Leasing.Com Trophy fixture.
Town will be in a positive mood heading into the game, after progressing past Mansfield Town in the FA Cup at the weekend.
Sam is looking forward to the tie and hopes his team can progress past the Citizens’ youngsters in the competitions’ first knock-out stage.
“You’re going to see a Man City team who play exactly like the first-team,” said Sam. “They do that all the way through the age groups and you’re going to see some really exciting young players.
"They play in this competition and in the Champions League of their age group. They very rarely play the same team. It’s going to very similar to watching the first-team.
“If you look at the best players who are being produced in this country, it’s mostly Man City. Players like Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho. If you’re coming to the game, keep your team sheet, because in a year or so some of these players might be some of the best in Europe.
“They will want to play out from the back and their centre-halves will be right in the box - they have the Man City DNA. If they get it wrong, they go at it again and try again.
“We have our ideas of how we’re going to go against that. It’s good for their players to be challenging league footballers. It will be a good test for both sides. Some of these players will be really young but really good. Don’t be surprised if they become some of the best players around.”
Sam is hoping his side can do well in the competition and feels the fixture is a good opportunity for some of the Town squad to showcase their ability.
“We’ve made changes in this competition more so because they have been during international breaks,” said the Gaffer. “We are a little bit bare on numbers but we will use what we have available.
“We have good competition for places, so you have to express yourself in training and try to get into that slot. However, if you do get a chance in this competition, it’s an opportunity to put your stamp on the team.
“The game will be similar to the weekend. We are going into the tie knowing we have to get a result at the end of the game. It's an opportunity to end up at Wembley – that would be a great achievement.”