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Beale: U23s Ready For Must-Win Tie

Beale: U23s Ready For Must-Win Tie

Jon Beale insists his Under-23 youngsters are ready for their must-win Premier League Cup Group Stage clash with Brighton on Friday night.

The scenario is simple ahead of the tie at the Eon Visual Media Stadium. The Tigers, currently bottom of Group H with four points from four games, must claim all three points against the Seagulls in order to alive their hopes of progressing to the knockout stage - with a trip to Sunderland still to come in their final fixture of the cup competition - and Beale has every confidence in his young charges.

"It's a must-win game for us," he said.

"We've got two group games left and our job is pretty simple - win both games and we qualify.

"We want to do that because it's a good competition to be involved. We've got a good history in the competition over the past two seasons having got to the final in 2015/16 and then making it through a tough group last season, before being knocked out in the last 16 by Liverpool on penalties.

"We've produced some very good performances in the competition during that time and two more are needed now. We have to win on Friday and we have to win away at Sunderland in our final game.

"That's not me putting pressure on the players - that's the life of being a professional footballer. It's what real football is all about - winning games - which is something that every one of our young players has to learn to do."

The Tigers came out on top in an entertaining five-goal thriller in the first meeting between the two sides back in November and Beale is expecting another hard encounter for his side against Category One opposition.

"Brighton are a very good footballing side, so we know we're going to be in for a tough test," he added. "The move the ball really, really well.

"It was a really open game when we played them at their place last year - one that produced an entertaining 90 minutes of football and five goals.

"It was a real end-to-end game because we like to play as well and we're quite expansive and open in what we do and they were exactly the same.

"Looking back on that night, I think both teams could've scored five or six goals, but thankfully it was us that managed to get the all-important winning goal late on.

"Hopefully, it won't be quite as entertaining on Friday night and we can be just as solid as we have been in our last two games - which have brought two clean sheets and two wins - and get the result we need."