Young players want to prove themselves, says Potter

Academy graduates may feature again in the Carabao Cup tonight against Manchester United.

By Charlie Hanson • 30 September 2020

By James Boardman
Graham Potter has been happy with how his young players have faired in the Carabao Cup.

Graham Potter has said the young players who have impressed in the Carabao Cup this season are desperate to prove themselves at first-team level.

Max Sanders make his full debut in last week’s 2-0 win at Preston, while Viktor Gyokeres has netted his first goal at senior level in the second-round win against Portsmouth.

Alex Cochrane, Peter Gwargis, Jayson Molumby, Haydon Roberts and Teddy Jenks have also featured in the two games so far, having come through the ranks with Albion.

By Simon Davies
Roberts and Sanders made their first starts of the season against Preston.

Ahead of the fourth round tie against Manchester United at the Amex, Potter said, "They really want to play and show what they can do. It is  a step up from under-23 level and in Max's case League One. It is good for them to be in our group and mix more with the first-team players. In that respect, it has been a really useful competition.

"The team performed well at Preston [in the third round]. It was a really competitive game against a good team trying hard to win away from home.

“We had to fight and battle and for them to come through was really positive.”

The head coach has no doubt that his less experienced players will want to use the occasion as a springboard for more regular first team action.

“They will be looking to try to be positive and to hope that it’s an experience that can either kick-start their career or give them some confidence for whatever their future holds,” Potter added.

By Simon Davies
Players such as Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Pascal Gross and Alexis Mac Allister have started both of Albion's Carabao Cup matches so far.

“But the whole squad has been really competitive. They’re pushing each other every day so tonight is also an opportunity for those that maybe haven’t played as much [in the Premier League].

“They haven’t necessarily got anything to prove to me – I know they’ve got the quality but I can only pick 11.

“This is a chance for them to enjoy their football, do the things we have been speaking about and show what they can do against a good Manchester United side.”