THE ACADEMY

FA Youth Cup semi-final
Stamford Bridge, Friday 13 April 7pm

CHELSEA (2)
v
MANCHESTER UNITED (1)

First Leg score in brackets 

Live on MUTV

11/04/2012 11:00, Report by Adam Marshall

Young Reds aim for final

Academy coach Paul McGuinness is looking for his youngsters to upset the odds on Friday and keep a grip on the FA Youth Cup.

The Reds were beaten 2-1 at Old Trafford in the first leg of the semi-final last month and head to Chelsea hoping to earn a place in the final against Blackburn after overcoming the Londoners at the same stage in 2011.

Some of the younger members of the squad represented the club in the Aegon Future Cup in Amsterdam over Easter, losing out in the final to Ajax on penalties, and striker James Wilson, who scored against the Blues on 16 March, picked up a foot injury during the tournament.

"There's a host of benefits to playing in the Youth Cup," he told ManUtd.com. "The competition is very important. The first team is the most important thing in the club but the core and heart has come from youth players traditionally. It's very important we keep that tradition going.

"The Youth Cup is a simulation of first-team games. It gives us a nice feeling and we take it seriously. The boys are aware of our tradition and want to add to it. We stay in hotels and so on and, when they get off that coach and are at a league ground, they've got the blazers on.

"What happened last year at Chelsea was one of the stewards said he thought it was the first team coming in there. That is exactly what you want. We're like the first team and try to play like the first team and some might become first-team players in the future. You never know."

More:  Young Reds see off Bayern | Penalties defeat against Ajax

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