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Hurst gearing up for FA Youth Cup

Kyle Hurst in full flow
Kyle Hurst in full flow

Kyle Hurst is hoping that Blues can carry on where they left off in the FA Youth Cup.

The Under-18s face Barnsley in the Fourth Round of the competition at Leamington FC on Wednesday evening (7pm).

Blues returned from Sunderland with a 4-1 win in the previous round after what was a comprehensive performance, in all departments.

Paul Robinson's side can boast an array of attacking options - of which wideman Hurst is one particular danger - but it is about putting everything together against the Tykes.

"Sunderland was a really good performance from us," said Hurst, recalling the victory that was triggered by a remarkable start: goals after 13 and 90 seconds, for Adan George, on his way to a hat-trick.

"I couldn't believe how we began because I didn’t even touch the ball and we had scored twice! That just set the game off and showed everybody we were ready for it. From the  get-go we knew we were going to win that game and that's what we've got to take into Wednesday.

"Yes, we have some very good attacking options. Josh Andrews is a big unit and he's an outlet. We've got speed, pace and direct players that want to go towards goal and get shots off, crosses and create chances.

"But we know we have got to put our bodies on the line all the time, putting in tackles and let them know we're there, so they might think 'you know what? they're up for this', so then they start panicking a bit. We've got to get in their faces and do both sides of the game, that's how you win.

"We have got some physical defenders as well, we've got a base in the midfield, we're secure there.

"We know Barnsley, they work very hard and we will have to match them. But when we play our football, we'll look to break them down. It's about everything coming together."

Hurst had just turned 16 when he got a first real taste of the FA Youth Cup, appearing in the 2018 Semi-Final against Chelsea.

After being an Under-23s regular last season, he was back with the Under-18s at the start of this campaign. His displays and attitude, though, have again seen him bumped up to the Development Squad. He has played the last two games, and caused countless problems with his direct dribbling and trickery for Sheffield United and Wigan Athletic defenders.

"Last I was in the Under-23s from the start which I never expected but it was great for me. This season I went back to the 18s but I felt that was good for me, too, because it's built my confidence back up. The last two games I've started and played really well in both games and Steve Spooner was happy in my performances.

"It wasn't a disappointment of anything like that to be back with the 18s. The type of person I am I accept things and just work hard at everything I do. I'm not going to take that as a negative being with the 18s. It's a great group of players and Robbo as a coach has been in the game a long time and really helps you."

If, as Hurst found in his last couple of appearances, he gets whacked because of his speed and habit of getting away from opponents to break the lines, it won't bother him.

"I just have to accept it. It proves to me that they find it difficult to deal with it and they get frustrated which is good for the team," said Hurst, who turns 18 next week.

"In one game (Sheffield United) I got three players booked and then they're going to back off then, so we could create more two v ones in dangerous areas."

Admission to FA Youth Cup tie at The Phillips 66 Community Stadium, Harbury Lane, is £4 adults and £2 concessions.

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