Chelsea U21s v Spurs - Ugo's preview
30 October 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Team-mates on the youth international stage could find themselves locking horns tonight when we face Chelsea in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League at Aldershot.
Both sides feature exciting young talent who represent a host of nations, with England in particular frequently fielding players produced by us and the Blues in their youth teams.
Ahead of what is always a fiercely-contested London derby, our Under-21s Coach Ugo Ehiogu says international friendships will be put to one side for 90 minutes at the Recreation Ground, with the onus on our players to produce good performances in a bid to win the game.
“There is never a need for extra motivation when we play Chelsea,” he said. “It’s a match between two very competitive academies and it always adds a little spice because a lot of the players go away on international duty together, so there is definitely a rivalry there.
“Both sets of players want to impress. Last season we drew away but should have won and beat them at home, so the high standards have been set and the challenge for our players is to match them.
“I never get tired of saying it – work rate and basics are key and then we like to think we’ve got the players to play good football.”
We go into the match off the back of a 1-1 home draw with Liverpool last week, a contest that saw midfielder Anton Walkes on the scoresheet for the third time in four games.
Ugo praised Anton for his contributions of late and confirmed he’s happy with the make-up of the squad as a whole ahead of our clash with the Blues.
“We have the right balance at the moment,” he added. “We’ve got players who can combine and play one-touch, two-touch in tight areas and we’ve got centre-halves and full-backs who can hit good diagonals.
“We also have wingers who want to run at defenders and cross it and Anton Walkes is a midfield runner who gets between spaces and is starting to find the habit of scoring.
“Goalscoring midfielders are gold dust so if we can polish and get more intent in his tackling and heading, the boy has a great chance.
“The motivation is there for tonight and if we take the chances we create, we’re confident of beating them.”
Kick-off is at 7.05pm this evening. Follow us on Twitter @SpursOfficial for live updates.
Squad: Glover, Voss, Amos, Bennetts, Carter-Vickers, Georgiou, Harrison, Lesniak, Loft, Maghoma, McEvoy, Stylianides, Veljkovic, Walker-Peters, Walkes.