Ethan Ingram: Memories are our motivation ahead of PL Cup decider

Ethan Ingram giving out instructions for Albion's PL2 side in their development game against Stoke

Ethan Ingram says Albion's youngsters are fully focused on reaching the knockout stages of the Premier League Cup when they play their final group game against Middlesbrough on Thursday afternoon (ko 2pm).

Richard Beale's side play Boro at Keys Park looking to reach the last 16 of the competition for a second year running after lifting the trophy last term, and following victory in their last game against Huddersfield Town, they've improved their chances of making that happen.

Despite losing in Hednesford last time out, the Terriers have won the group already. Watford are second and occupy the other qualifying spot on seven points having completed all of their fixtures - but with Albion and Boro both on six points, a win for either would see them take the last knockout pass.

The young Baggies approach their final match in Group C knowing anything other than defeat would send them through to the latter stages of the tournament, with Beale's boys boasting a better goal difference than both the Hornets and Thursday's opponents.

And young full-back Ingram insisted Albion are determined to produce a professional performance and continue their defence of the PL Cup by overcoming Boro.

"We know how important the Middlesbrough game is and we’re ready for it," said the 19-year-old.

"Everyone remembers the run we had last year. The memories we made will always be with us, and the fact they came during the early stages of our career made them a bit more special.

"But we have to use them as motivation in our last group game now. We want to hold onto the cup, and getting through to the knockouts would take us a step closer in the right direction to doing that.

"To be involved in first team training under the new manager is a plus for me. Being around that senior environment will only help us younger lads who get the opportunity to learn, and that helps us carry those standards into the matches with the 21s.

"I’ve always relished using my speed and energy levels in games. They help going forward, and I think that’s shown through this year with my contribution in the attacking third and getting more assists.

Ethan Ingram and Rico Richards have been consistent providers for Albion's PL2 side

"First and foremost, though, I’m a defender and I’m always looking to strengthen my attributes at the back. Whether that be working on those individual battles, communicating or turnovers in play, those duels with attackers are things I relish when the game starts. 

"Every game’s different in the development phase. We’ve beaten Middlesbrough this season, they’ve got one over on us, and with progression on the line for both teams, we know it’s going to be a tough game.

"But we want to keep this run going, continue impressing and keep pushing to reach the next step in our careers."

How to follow the match

Tickets remain available for Albion’s Premier League Cup tie with Middlesbrough at Keys Park on Thursday afternoon.

Prices are £5 for adults and just £1 for juniors.

Free entry for season ticket holders is not available for this fixture.

  • PL Cup
  • Ingram