Jake Davies in Cardiff City U18 training

U18 Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Bristol City

Cardiff City’s U18 side continue their Premier Development League campaign on Saturday, as they welcome Bristol City to Cardiff International Sports Campus – KO at 11am.

After two games without a win, the young Bluebirds bounced back with a 3-0 away victory against QPR. Goals from Trey George, Troy Perrett and Tanatswa Nyakuhwa sealed all three points for City, as they moved up the PDL South table. The result sees Tom Hutton’s side move above Charlton Athletic into third place in the table and have three games in hand on the two sides above them.

This weekend sees City face a big test, as they take on Bristol City in the Severnside Derby. The Robins sit top of the table, having won twelve of their 18 games; however, they are coming off the back of a 4-1 defeat away to Millwall. In their last meeting, it was the Bluebirds who came out on top in a thrilling 3-2 win. George, Will Spiers, and Japhet Matondo scored during the victory, and if City can get all three points this weekend, they will cut the gap at the top to six points.

Tom Hutton in training for Cardiff City U18

We caught up with U18 head coach Hutton ahead of Saturday's fixture. 

"We reflect really positively on the QPR game last week," Tom began. "That's for two reasons, one is the performance and that was really closely aligned to how we want to play. The things that we've been working on with the group recently, it was nice to see that come out in the game. The biggest positive was that a lot of the boys had to play the day before for the U21s, but also the introduction of some of the younger lads in the squad. We had U14s and U15s players in the squad and for me, that's what youth development is about, it's trying to expose the boys to different levels of football. I think a lot of the boys had that over the course of 24 hours, so it was a really positive week for us.

"We had a few players on international duty and that's hugely important for them. It's something that also gives us great pride that we have players representing their country. It gives them good exposure and international football provides them with a fresh challenge. We've got a close relationship with the FAW, so we're always working with them on how we can stretch the boys and measure their success, both for the Club and internationally.

"Saturday will be a tough test for us. We've had a lot of encounters with Bristol City over the years and it's always a competitive fixture with it being a local derby and both teams having an eye on each other's results, but we're focusing on our performance and hoping to continue the positives of last week. We'll have a different set of players again, but the group that we have are capable of replicating the level of performance that we had last week."

Jac Thomas

Jac Thomas, who was recently on international duty with Wales' U17s, added: "Bristol are a big, physical side and they like to go long, so it will be a good test for the boys, especially the back four, but we played against them earlier in the season and did a job on them. Hopefully, we can do that again. It's never an easy game against them, but if everyone plays at 100%, I think we can beat them.

"The eight-game winning streak earlier in the season really had an effect in the league for us after a bad start, it did us good and got us where we are now. We've had a couple of bad results, but if we can get back to regularly winning, we'll be pushing for those top spots at the end of the season. 

"Going away with Wales is always an honour and it's good for me to go away and meet new people and play different styles, but coming back to City, we've got a job to do now. Even with the tough games coming up, if we can win our games in-hand, it'll put us in a good place."