U21 side huddle

U21 Match Preview | Cardiff City vs. Watford

Cardiff City's U21 side kick off their start to the new year with a home fixture against the Hornets on Monday afternoon - 2pm KO.

This match will be free for all who wish to attend at Cardiff International Sports Stadium! Additionally, Cardiff City TV will be offering free live coverage via the Club's official YouTube channel!

City arrive after the short festive break looking to bounce back to winning ways following defeat against Millwall last time out. Meanwhile, the Hornets are now looking for their first victory since September, having lost their three most recent outings.

Level on points heading into Monday, City will be looking to start 2024 with another three points for their tally, during an important time of the season for the young Bluebirds in the Academy.

Darren Purse

Ahead of Monday's PDL clash, Darren Purse shared his thoughts on City's return to Leckwith.

"It was disappointing to lose before a long break ahead of another game, considering we were in a good run of form before that," began Darren. "We've got a double game week this week with Bournemouth on the Friday, so it's going to be interesting dealing with that as we also look at who is available to play.

"Some of the second year scholars will have to step up and prove themselves ready for the U21 football and a contract at the end of the year, which is what every U18 player wants.

"It's one of the biggest tests while being U21s Manager; one week you'll have your more experienced players all available, and the next you don't. You have to be adaptable, and it's good for the boys as well, because they all have to prepare as though they're going to start every game. Sometimes they'll train for the First Team, other times they'll travel.

"It's another evolution of the U21 side this year; the experienced boys will hopefully have loan spells that will help with their individual development, and then with the U18 players becoming U21 players, having to adapt and grow. They'll make mistakes along the way, but they're coming in with an enthusiasm and a drive to be successful, which we're trying to promote as our standard within the U21 side. 

"Whether it's in training or while playing, every time they cross that white line, they've got to prove that they're ready and good enough to start week in, week out."