Kristian O’Leary is anticipating a tough test for his Swansea City Under-21s side when they host Charlton Athletic at Stebonheath Park on Monday afternoon (1pm).
Swans U21s return to action against the Addicks, following a lengthy break over the festive period.
The young starlets haven’t been involved in a competitive match since December 16, when they drew 1-1 with QPR, and O’Leary is keen to see how his side respond to the time off.
“While it’s been a busy period for the senior boys, it’s been quiet for us,” explained the U21s boss.
“It will be interesting for myself to see how the boys handle the time off. I hope they feel like I do, in that they can’t wait to get back into it.
“We haven’t played for the best part of a month, so it will be really interesting to see how they come back because people forget how young a lot of them are, with the majority of the team still only 18-years-of-age.
“It’s going to be a difficult game. Charlton won the league last year.
“London teams are usually very strong and physical and quick in attack, and I’m expecting no different from Charlton.
“It will be a good test for us – a challenge which the boys have got to stand up to.”
This afternoon’s fixture against Charlton kicks off the second half of the season for the young Swans, and, following encouraging signs during the first period of the campaign, O’Leary is eager for further improvement.
“There are good signs,” enthused O”Leary. “Results-wise, it could have been slightly better.
“There has been an improvement in performances as a team. Whoever plays in the team, it is working, and we look like a team.
“Whatever changes we make, in terms of people coming in, we maintain our level of football.
“It’s a case of continuing what we have been doing but adding that final touch, which is the most difficult thing in football. We are creating chances but we need to finish them off.
“We’ve touched on it a lot in training, and that’s an area where we need to improve.”
Full squad news to follow...