We host Boro at Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium in the third round of the competition, kick-off 7pm.
And while he knows our youngsters will approach the contest in a similar tactical vein to our Barclays Under-18 Premier League fixtures so far this season, Academy Manager John says the lads will need to acclimatise to unfamiliar surroundings.
“There’s a couple of differences (regarding the surroundings of the game) but the approach we will take will be exactly the same,” John said.
“The main differences are dealing with the stadium and the evening kick-off.
“Whereas the first team are used to playing with different kick-off times and on different days, evenings and afternoons, these boys have usually got the same routine Monday to Saturday (ending with a game on Saturday morning).
“There will be a slight change in routine and the stadium environment and the boys will have to adapt to it. How we approach the game will be identical to as if it was a league game.”
Our Under-18s have already met Boro in domestic action this season – we claimed a 4-0 victory at the Training Centre back in August.
But John says the result this evening is far from certain.
“I’ve said before how much respect I have got for David Parnaby (Boro Academy Manager) and everything that Middlesbrough have achieved and continue to achieve,” he added.
“We played well against them earlier in the season but possibly the scoreline flattered us a little bit. That’s been and gone now.”
Come and support the lads this evening – tickets are £5 for adults and £1 for concessions (under 16 and over 65). Kick-off is at 7pm.