Match Previews

Gilbert’s young guns excited for ‘tough’ FA Youth Cup tie against Middlesbrough

Peter Gilbert says Albion Under-18s are looking forward to a challenging game against Middlesbrough in the FA Youth Cup fourth round at The Hawthorns on Tuesday (ko 7pm).

The Baggies Under-18s boss is prepared for a hard-fought battle to progress to the next round of the country’s most prestigious youth football competition against a Middlesbrough side who beat the Throstles earlier in the league this season.

Albion defeated Scunthorpe in the previous round and Gilbert insists he is eagerly anticipating the upcoming tie.

“We’re looking forward to the game,” said Gilbert.

“The lads are refreshed after Christmas, they have had a little break. We are really looking forward to it. It is going to be a tough game. We played them a couple of weeks back and got beat up at their place so we know it is going to be a challenge.

“They are a very physical team, they can be quite direct and they have got some good players. We have got to make sure that we are competitive and aggressive in and out of possession.

“We are trying to keep things as normal as possible in training. It is a big game for the lads and we do appreciate that. We have just got to treat it as a normal week and not get them over excited and just be calm so they will be clear-minded to execute the game plan.

“Playing at The Hawthorns is a really difficult decision for a coach, you have to choose which players to leave out in the biggest game so far for a lot of the lads. The opportunity to play at The Hawthorns is huge. 

“They are thinking about it well in advance so it is really difficult in terms of leaving players out. There are some really hard decisions to make. As a squad they have been outstandingly competitive so far this season. For the lucky ones who do manage to get on the pitch they will be absolutely buzzing.”

Tickets will cost £5 for adults and £1 for concessions (under-16s and seniors 65+).

Please note, owing to FA rules, season-ticket holders will be unable to gain free admission to this fixture. 

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