We lost out 3-1 at home to Middlesbrough this time last year but, after racking up an incredible 10-1 victory over Stevenage in round three before Christmas, central defender Japhet is aiming for an extended run in the competition – and is targeting a bright performance at Loftus Road in order to take another step in the right direction.
“It’s a big night,” said the 17-year-old. “Last year we let ourselves down when we exited at this stage so everyone is ready and we’re on our game. There should hopefully be a big crowd at Loftus Road and everyone is ready to play their part.
“The FA Youth Cup is a really good competition and I think it’s an opportunity to show what our team is about. To us it means a lot, to me personally it means a lot as well and I think it’s very important that we show it tonight in our game.”
The last competitive outing for our academy side came just before Christmas as we lifted the IMG Cup in Florida with a 2-0 triumph over Toluca of Mexico. Japhet believes the momentum from that victory, coupled with our big win over Stevenage in the last round, can serve us well going into this evening’s contest.
“If we do the right things, do the things that our coaches have been working on with us and put in a shift, we should have a good chance to win the game with that momentum coming from Florida,” he said.
“In the Stevenage game we were relentless and if we can carry that over it will help us a lot in terms of being consistent and not taking our foot off the gas. I hope that we will win and I think we have the ability to win. Now we need to show it on the pitch.”
Kick-off is at 7pm tonight. Ticket details are available here while, if you’re unable to make it to Loftus Road, you’ll be able to follow the match with live updates on Twitter @SpursOfficial.
The winners of this evening’s tie will be at home to Norwich City in round five.