Match Previews

Smith: Consistency is key to PL Cup progression

Jamie Smith says if Albion Under-23s can match their recent standards then they are in a good position to progress from the Premier League Cup group stage.

The young Baggies take on AFC Bournemouth U23s at Keys Park, the home of Hednesford Town, on Monday, February 11 (ko 7pm). 

Heading into their penultimate PL Cup group stage fixture, Albion have five points to their name - and Smith is confident of his side's progression if they can keep up their performance levels against the Cherries.

"We have a good chance," said Smith.

"As long as we can maintain the level of our performances and be as clinical as we have been, then we have every chance.

"It was a good game down there and they are a good team who, like us, like to play attacking football - so it will be another tough game for us."

Albion's game comes just two days after the Baggies first team beat Stoke City 1-0 at the bet365 Stadium, whilst the under-18s progressed in the FA Youth Cup by winning 2-1 against Arsenal, which could have an impact on Smith's team selection.

However, Jamie insists his side have worked around tricky schedules before, and will head into the tie with Bournemouth with an air of confidence about them having recently beaten Norwich U23s 6-2 on the road.

"We have been threatening to do that for some time now," Smith added.

"Our performances have been very good, just the results haven't always gone the same way, but against Norwich it all came together and we were clinical."

"The squad will be affected with the first team and youth team both playing so close and also the loan players not being available. It will have an impact.

"We have had a good number of under-18s in the squad this season and they played in the FA Youth Cup game on Saturday, so it will be a tough week for some of them but they have done it before and adapted well."

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