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#U18 #FAYouthCup #PreMatch #Wolves #StuartLewis

Under-18s have ‘momentum and togetherness’ ahead of big match at Molineux

Fri 11 February 2022, 17:45|Tottenham Hotspur

Stuart Lewis says there are feelings of anticipation and expectation among our Under-18s squad as we get set for a big FA Youth Cup outing against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Saturday.

Having enjoyed high-scoring wins over Ipswich Town and West Bromwich Albion in home ties to get to this stage, we now meet Wolves in a high-profile fifth-round clash at a Premier League stadium as we look to move into the latter stages of the prestigious competition.

The squad will travel to Wolverhampton today (Friday) ahead of the tie at 1pm on Saturday, in what is coincidentally the first of two matches against the men in Old Gold this weekend, with the two clubs’ senior sides set to meet in the Premier League at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

For Under-18s Coach Stuart, Saturday’s game represents a great opportunity for our young players to express themselves in a testing environment, with all eyes on them.

“It’s going to be a brilliant afternoon for the boys to experience a Premier League stadium and the feeling that something like that brings,” he said. “We speak a lot about who can play in the big moments and on the big stage, and at Molineux it will be great for them to go and show what they can do.

“The players have been outstanding in the Youth Cup, they’ve created a real momentum and sense of togetherness, and you need that in these games because they can be tough, but there are also big moments that players will remember for the rest of their careers. In the last two games in this competition, we’ve been outstanding and I’m looking for us to keep that momentum going. There will be some tough moments like in every game of football but what we’ve done in the previous two games, I’m sure we can use that experience to our advantage.”

The winners of Saturday’s tie will host Brighton & Hove Albion in the sixth round, but Stuart underlined how the whole squad will need to have an input if we’re to progress past a tough Wolves side.

“Since Christmas, there’s been a lot of competition for places, but even the subs who have come on in the last couple of games have made an impact as well, which has been excellent,” he said. “That’ll be important again – it’s not just the 11 that is picked, it’s about the whole squad. The feeling around the changing room is really important and everyone will play a part in that. It’ll be tough for some if they’re not selected but in the previous games, they’ve spun that disappointment into positives and the subs who have come on in the last couple of matches have really added something extra to the team, so I look forward to seeing more of that in order for us to have a really good and enjoyable afternoon.

“What the boys are exposed to with these games, travelling the day before and experiencing the whole build-up to a big match like this is a great learning curve for them and hopefully that will enhance their overall experience with us. Long-term, the goal is to get players into the first team but we also want players who want to win, who know how to win and it’ll be good for them to go to Wolves, play in a Premier League stadium, enjoy it and play on the front foot. I know there are a lot of individuals who will want to go and do that, so there’s a really good atmosphere around the group going into the game.”

Tickets for Spurs supporters can be purchased by calling the Wolverhampton Wanderers ticket office on 0371 222 1877 and stating that they require an away fan ticket. Tickets are priced at £3 for adults and £2 for concessions and under-17s.