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U18'S: McLoughlin Previews Portsmouth Clash

28 January 2017

Town U18’s Manager Alan McLoughlin is confident his side can get the better of his former club this morning.

The young Reds host Portsmouth at Stanley Park (11am Kick-Off) today, a club for whom McLoughlin enjoyed a long association with as both a coach and as a player.

“It is important that we try and finish this section of the season positively and form has been good recently,” he told

“It will be tough against Portsmouth and I know virtually all of their boys and I know what their strengths are.

“But I know what our strengths are and I know what our weaknesses are and if we play to our strengths then I like to think we will win the game.

“I was very disappointed with the result against Portsmouth back in October because we completely dominated the game and the lapse of concentration at the end of the game cost us.

“Hopefully we’ve learnt a lot since then and they have developed and they are starting to produce the type of football I expect with more energy, more desire and they are creating chances.

“I am looking forward to the game because it is against my old club of nine and a bit years.

“I have fantastic memories of my time at Portsmouth and I love the club.

“The game will be tough but if we beat Portsmouth then hopefully we will finish above them – it is just about how the players apply themselves.”

Town will be without defenders Louis Spalding and Christian Frimpong today after the pair both picked up knocks in the week.

“There are a couple of players not available. Louis Spalding went over on his ankle in the Development game at Cheltenham on Tuesday,” McLoughlin added.

“Christian Frimpong has strained his knee in a Level One coaching course and that will teach him for not warming up properly.

“I’m keen that he’s available for the Development game at Newport on Tuesday so we’ll rest him this weekend and hopefully his knee would have settled down a bit by Monday.”

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