28th Jun, 2022

Russell Slade wants to give Sky Blues fans a day out to remember at Wembley in the Checkatrade Trophy

FOOTBALL: SWANSEA City’s Under-23s will provide a tough test for the Sky Blues but manager Russell Slade is confident his side can progress and give the club’s supporters a day out to remember in the Checkatrade Trophy final.

The revamped competition has been something of a welcome relief for the Sky Blues away from their disappointing League One campaign.

Victories over West Ham Under-23s, Northampton and Wycombe saw City finish top of their group and after knocking out Crawley and Brighton Under-23s on Tuesday evening, Slade’s side are now just two games away from a trip to the home of English football.

“When you get to this stage, you’re only two games away from playing at the national stadium,” said Slade.

“I don’t think there has ever been a bad cup final to play in. It would be great for this club if we could pull that off. While it isn’t a priority, if we could make it to a final it would be a great day for everyone associated with the football club.”

“A lot of players will go through their career having never had the opportunity to play at Wembley, and it is a great day.

“I’ve managed in play-offs at Wembley, you don’t forget those days. And it would be a chance to make a small bit of history for this great football club.”

Swansea Under-23s started their Checkatrade Trophy campaign with a 3-0 defeat away at Wimbledon, but victories over Newport County and Plymouth so them progress to the knockout stage.

After knocking out Norwich City and Wolves, Swansea remain the only reserve team left from the top two flights and Slade knows his side will have to be at their best to progress through to the final four.

“It is the last U21 team left in the competition, it is a good fixture for us in a great stadium,” Slade added. “They do look like one of the strongest U21 teams and it’ll be a tough game.

“But what it does do is give us an opportunity, a realistic opportunity of progressing again.

“We’ve proven that we can dispose of the younger sides. But we’ll have to take this game on merit, Swansea have got some dangerous players.

“Oliver McBurnie up front is scoring goals, and they have got players of international calibre as well so it won’t be easy.

“Lets hope we can take a few fans on that long journey and make it to the semis.”

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