Harry Whitwell on providing creative influence in penultimate PL2 match against Man City

A photo of Albion youngster Harry Whitwell, in the 23/24 home kit, in action at The Hawthorns

Central midfielder Harry Whitwell insists he will continue to show positive, forward-thinking trends in his play when Albion’s PL2 side face Manchester City on Friday night (ko 7pm). 

The England youth international was on the scoresheet last time out against Newcastle United, but his effort came too late to help Richard Beale’s team claim a point as they fell to a 3-2 defeat on the road.

Overall, it’s been another year of progress for the academy graduate from Oxford - making his senior bow in the Emirates FA Cup against Aldershot Town in January 2024, while also bringing on his capabilities as a box-to-box midfielder. 

But Harry knows there’s still room for improvement in his game when setting up team-mates on the attack, and the 18-year-old believes it’s vital the young pros “impress” those watching on in their last Premier League 2 matches - starting against City at the Joie Stadium.

He said: “Looking back at the Newcastle game we were the better team for large periods of the match.

“We played nice football, but there was a 10-minute spell where we fell under as a team and that’s what we need to keep working on. 

“We’re quite a young group but as we get closer to the first team, these are things we need to iron out so as a team, we need to build on the good things we showed and go for the win in these last two games. 

“Getting goals and assists is something I want to improve on. I scored in the last two games we’ve played, with one of those being a friendly, and I’m focused on being more creative in the final third. The more goals you can score, the more your name’s appearing out there. 

A photo of Harry Whitwell, in the 23/24 home kit, in action for Albion's PL2 team at The Hawthorns
Harry Whitwell in action at The Hawthorns v Man Utd

“As a midfielder, having that picture before you have the ball and knowing where the runners are ahead of you, where the space is, and having the confidence to find those balls is something I’m trying all the time. 

“That will only improve me as a player because it will inevitably get my assists up, and if I arrive in the box at the right times then my goals will go up as well. 

“It’s been a step up for me this season. 

“Last year I was playing 21s football for the majority of the season, then this year I’ve carried that on while being more involved in the first team, whether that be training or making my first-team debut. 

“That was a dream come true and every season I’m looking to improve on the last one, iron things out, take less touches and overall take things step-by-step to progress every day.

A photo of Harry Whitwell, in the 23/24 home kit, in action for Albion in the FA Cup v Alderhsot
Harry Whitwell on his senior bow against Aldershot Town

“Man City are going to be a top side. The amount of money they put into their academy year-on-year always makes them a tough team to face. 

“But we should take confidence from how we’ve played in moments during our last games and if we put together a complete performance, we can get the win and that’s very much the aim. 

“We’ve got to keep impressing everyone who comes to watch us, especially to help us kick onto next season to make sure we go into pre-season firing.

“Hopefully, we can impress the first team manager here or other ones out there if a loan opportunity were to come up for us. 

“People will be watching and it’s important to keep impressing.”

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