Physical test will aid Under-21s
Manchester United are back on the Papa Johns Trophy trail on Tuesday, with a game at Barrow (19:30 BST kick-off).
The Reds' Under-21s won 2-1 at Carlisle United in our previous match in the competition this term but, unfortunately, this tie cannot be shown live on MUTV, due to the EFL restricting the broadcast regulations. However, we will be releasing highlights on our official club channels.
Player coach Tom Huddlestone came off the bench at Carlisle and is a fan of these fixtures, which provide valuable experience for our younger players.
"I think the EFL Trophy is good as it gives them [our players] a different test to Academy football, coming up against somebody’s first team," Huddlestone told us. "They [the other sides] come up against one of the biggest clubs in the world in Manchester United so, whatever age they’re playing, it’s an important occasion.
"It’s a good test and more physical than the Academy football they [our boys] are used to.
“Yeah, it's increased capacities to what they are used to week in and week out with Academy football," he added. "As you say, the Carlisle game was good experience for me and one for the lads, where I could see the lads had to rally together and fought hard for the victory.
“I think, physically, it was one of the tougher games they have probably been in. The competition is a great idea as it gives younger players at Premier League clubs that experience in bigger stadiums with more fans there. Not necessarily a hostile environment but a different environment to what they are used to from playing Saturday morning football.”
U21s: Carlisle 1 United 2Gallery
The young Reds take all three points from our Papa John's Trophy opener.
United's winning start to Group G was secured thanks to goals from Charlie McNeill and Omari Forson at Brunton Park, with Travis Binnion taking charge of the team.
The Reds are actually the only Premier League side who top the group in the competition at the time of writing, with the other three teams (Barrow, Carlisle and Fleetwood Town) each on two points.