Thursday, August 11, 2011

'It'll Prepare Us For Europe'

Rodolfo Borrell believes Manchester City will provide the perfect opposition for Liverpool Reserves ahead of next week's eagerly-anticipated NextGen Series opener against Sporting Lisbon.

The second-string's head coach has identified several similarities between the two sides and hopes to use the final encounter of pre-season to fine tune his preparations for the big kick off.

Speaking prior to this afternoon's clash at Hyde United, Borrell told "I'm looking to play against a very good squad and the initial idea was to use this game as a rehearsal for the Sporting Lisbon game.

"Sporting are a fantastic side that have very quick and technically-gifted players. These are the types of players Manchester City are looking to use at U18, U19 and reserve team level.

"With this in mind I felt they were the obvious choice. The stronger the team they play, the better for us. Like I say, they have some characteristics, especially in midfield and up front, that are similar to the Portuguese team and that can help us."

The reserves have suffered mixed fortunes in pre-season, notching up one win and two draws from five outings.

Borrell is unfazed by the results of their warm-up games and remains confident his players will benefit from coming up against teams with a strong physical approach.

He said: "At the moment I am quite happy. It has been a tough pre-season. We've got a lot of young players coming into the reserve team and I think that is the right way for a club like Liverpool to move forward.

"We look at the reserves as one step forward from the U18s and no longer just use players in the squad who are 22, 23, and 24 years old.

"The result of this is that the squad is very young. We know that we might have some problems at the beginning of the season in terms of results because we are going to perform against reserve team squads with players that are much older and have developed more physically.

"I know that we need to be able to handle this and that the lads must face this as a reality as soon as possible. That is why I picked out some very tough games for our pre-season.

"It has been difficult but I think we have adopted the correct approach in our preparations for the new campaign."

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