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Ryan Excited For Under-18s Cup

  Darren Ryan says his Wolves under-18s players are relishing the fresh challenge of the Under-18 Premier League Cup, which they face Stoke City in on Saturday.

The new competition, introduced this year, consists of a group stage initially and sees Wolves face Stoke, Manchester United and Arsenal, with hopes of reaching the knockout last eight.

Ryan, who has overseen two wins from two in the league, is pleased for the break and is excited to see how his youngsters get on in cup action.

“We’re looking forward to it because it gives us a different challenge,” Ryan said. “It’s good for the players because it puts them in a more pressure situation.

“The challenge initially is to get out of the group. Usually we just only play in the league and FA Youth Cup, but now it’s something new and we want to finish top of our group.

“It’s an opportunity. We’ve got a team we don’t usually play in Arsenal, along with Man United and Stoke, and we can’t wait to get started.”

Saturday’s tie with Stoke, which kicks-off at 11am, will take place at Hednesford Town, rather than the training ground, which Ryan believes will give his players a boost.

“We’ve tried to give it more of cup feel by changing the environment so the lads should enjoy playing at a stadium.

“We’ve watched Stoke and it’s going to be a different challenge, which the players have every week against different formations and different teams.”

Ryan’s men have beaten Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland in recent weeks, and now he’s looking for that momentum to continue against Stoke.

“We’ve had two positive results and good performances. The only disappointing thing last week was we didn’t score more goals.

“The attitude and application has been good and I thought we played some really good football last week, particularly early on.

“Their attitude in training never differs, it’s fantastic each week. They want to work hard and want to learn. They can’t wait for the next game, they want to play as soon as possible,” he added.