Ed Francis is hoping he can lead Manchester City to FA Youth Cup glory, and end Chelsea’s spell of success in the competition.
The Blues defender and local lad has been with the club since he was six and has watched on from the sidelines over the last two years as City have missed out on The Cup at the hands of Chelsea.
But the England Under-18 international believes there is enough quality in the City squad to bring their opponent’s recent domination of the competition to a stop.
- The FA Youth Cup
- The Final first leg
- 7.45pm, Tuesday 18 April 2017
- Manchester City Academy Stadium
- Live on ITV4
“I’m sure all of the lads saw the [last two] Finals, but we just want to change what’s happened and we don’t want to let Chelsea win three in a row,” Francis told the official FA Youth Cup Final match programme ahead of Tuesday’s first leg at the Academy Stadium.
“We want to stop that run and win it ourselves for City and we’re confident that we can do it this year with this team.
“Obviously we’re really looking forward to the games against Chelsea and they’re going to be the biggest of our season, but we’ll approach the Final in the same way we have in every game and put in the same preparation.”
Both City and Chelsea have found their goalscoring form in the competition this term, culminating with aggregate scorelines of 9-2 and 8-2 against Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.
And Francis admits he’s been impressed with what he’s seen of Jody Morris’s team and knows City will need to be on their game in both legs if they are to lift The Cup at Stamford Bridge next Wednesday.
“Their formation is a strength of theirs as they’ve been playing in a new system,” he explained.
“It’s an aggressive system and they go man-for-man when they’re defending so it puts a bit of pressure on our players to go and get the ball, receive it and not be shy.
“They have threats all over the pitch and they’re a strong team, that’s why they’re in the Final. But we have a lot of good players as well…
“Going forward, in the first leg against Stoke, everything fell into place. Going into the Final we should be very well prepared and know what each other is doing and as we saw in the first leg of the semi-final, that was scoring goals.”
You can read the full interview with Ed, as well as with Chelsea captain Mason Mount and managers Lee Carsley and Jody Morris in the programme. Click here to buy your copy.