Pressure is off for youth’s big Liverpool test

Blackpool youth team boss Richie Kyle
Blackpool youth team boss Richie Kyle
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Richie Kyle is hoping his Blackpool side can provide a giantkilling in the third round of the FA Youth Cup tonight.

Pool’s U18s welcome Premier League side Liverpool to Bloomfield Road, kick-off 7pm, as huge underdogs against one of the strongest Academies in world football.

The Seasiders have a talented bunch themselves and are currently six points clear at the top of the North West Youth Alliance.

And Kyle insists his side can cause an upset. “There’s no pressure on our lads at all, so they need to enjoy it,” he said.

“All the pressure is on Liverpool. Everyone expects them to beat us and rightly so.

“But I’ve got a team full of characters, who are willing to work hard, mixed in with some real quality.

“If we are organised and disciplined, then there’s no reason we can’t upset them.”

Liverpool are three-time winners of the competition and last won it in 2007, when Jay Spearing captained the side to a penalty shoot-out win against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Last season the Reds reached the semi-finals, losing out eventual runners-up Chelsea.

Kyle added: “When we saw the draw we were all excited.

“The lads were buzzing when they found out. It’s as big as it gets for us. We are facing one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“I’m based in the city and I know just how important this tournament is for the club.”

Pool are hoping for a big turn-out for tonight’s game, with entry free to season ticket holders.

Anyone else wishing to attend can do for just £4 (£2 for juniors).

“I hope people will turn out to support out lads tonight,” added Kyle. “I was having the conversation with (coach) John Murphy and said it would be great to get a big crowd. Hopefully we’ll get a few people in.

“The lads deserve this moment. They’ve worked so hard and done so well this season so far.

“That’s why I was so pleased when we got this draw. The lads deserve this chance to impress.”

Liverpool, coached by Neil Critchley, arrive at Bloomfield Road having brought five of their regular U21 side into U18s for the game.

Their side will include striker Jerome Sinclair who has netted six times already this season and is the hottest young prospect at Anfield.

He is the senior side’s youngest ever player after being handed his debut in the Capital One Cup clash against West Brom last season.

Desite all their quality, the Liverpool boss knows they are in for a tough test.

Critchley said: “Blackpool are doing very well this season in their league. They are top and they have only lost once all season.

“They are dangerous opponents because they are full of confidence and used to winning games, so they will see it as a chance of causing an upset and there is no bigger upset than beating Liverpool, so we have to guard against that.

“We are away from home and they have home advantage, and we are expecting nothing but a tough game.

“We want to have a good run and go as far in the competition as we can.

“We want to win it but there are a lot of teams in the same boat as it is a knockout competition. Hopefully we can do the club proud tonight.”