Josh Bohui is making strides at United.

Bohui hopes familiarity can fuel success

Manchester United youngster Josh Bohui believes the club’s Under-19 players are benefiting from being pushed into the Under-23s.

Ricky Sbragia’s side have a Premier League International Cup tie with Reading next week to further their experience of knockout football and it will stand everybody in good stead ahead of the next phase of the UEFA Youth League.

The European team, coached by Nicky Butt, qualified as group winners for the round of 16 and are awaiting the results of the play-offs before Friday’s draw in Nyon.

Bohui plays for both sides and is learning to develop his game in training, taking inspiration from people like Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay, and enjoying the familiarity of playing alongside the same faces in the two age groups.

Josh Bohui looks on during an Under-23 match.
Bohui has been working hard on improving his end product in training.

”The Under-23s team is definitely younger and it’s good as it’s almost like playing with the same team as the UEFA Youth League squad,” he told MUTV. “A lot of us boys have played with each other for two or three years now. We know what people like and how to play the ball.

”It’s really good being one of the older boys in the Under-23s now the younger lot are coming up to train. It’s nice to play with them as I can encourage them and help them aspire to do really well in whatever competition they’re playing in, be it cup games or just the league games.

”We try to play attacking football, getting the wingers out wide and, if they come inside, then getting the full-backs forward. We’re working on playing the ball forward as early as possible and breaking the lines, which is really helpful. But I think the most important thing is trying to take our chances because we create a lot of opportunities in games and it’s about being clinical with them.

”With our players, we don’t have such a physical team but what we have is intelligence and technique. We’ve got to impose our style by playing on the floor and using our strengths really. Having fast wingers out wide and technical people in midfield makes it really helpful to know our positions and where everyone plays as a team.”

Reading are next up in the Premier League International Cup at Leigh Sports Village, in a third meeting between the clubs at Under-23 level this term. After a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, Angel Gomes scored the winner in the corresponding fixture at the Madejski Stadium.

”Reading are another physical team and we know what we’re going to get against them,” added Bohui. “Physicality and a need to dig deep as they play direct football into the strikers and play off them. It’s good we’ve played them twice already and haven’t lost against them. That’s positive as we know we can break them down as we beat them at their home.

Josh Bohui scores a penalty against West Brom.
Josh Bohui scored a penalty against West Brom's Under-23s.

”We kept clean sheets against PSV Eindhoven and Paris Saint-Germain [in this competition]. That’s really good for the team as we did particularly well against PSG, who had older boys. We stuck deep within each other and it helped having Scott in there, coming down from the first team to play with us.

”It really boosted us as a whole team and helped us with our confidence. Of course, when we went out there confident, we got the job done, getting early goals, and defending really well as a team. Scott just hammered home the help for any young players and was just saying work hard and dig deep. He’s an example. If he is digging deep and working hard, that inspires everyone else to do it. He was really a help for all of us.”

Josh Bohui takes on the Stoke City defence.
Josh Bohui in action in our last Under-23s outing, against Stoke City on Monday night.

The 19-year-old, who went on the summer tour of the United States, is still learning his trade but has perfect role models to study in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first team.

“Having those inspirational people like Anthony and Marcus playing up there, you want to get up that type of level,” he said.

“Martial and Rashford, those players, you look at them and they are always taking on players. In the games, they are brilliant to watch and whom you aspire to be like.”

United versus Reading, in the Premier League International Cup quarter-finals, is live on MUTV on Monday 25 February (19:00 GMT kick-off).

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