Millwall manager Gary Rowett has sent a message to the club’s under-18 players ahead of their clash with Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup tonight.
The young Lions side head to Stamford Bridge as they look to make it into the semi-final and knock out one of the country’s leading youth sides along the way.
Rowett will be in attendance alongside his coaching staff as they show their support to the young players with some of them bidding to earn a professional contract come the summer.
The Lions have sold out their away allocation of 1,000 tickets with Chelsea refusing to grant them any more.
Speaking to News At Den, Rowett said: “I’m really looking forward to the game.
“I’ve always said the same – it is really important, where we can, that we support the young players. We saw them against Fleetwood, and then watched a live stream of the Bournemouth match.
“I’ll be sending them a little text today wishing them all the best.
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“We’ve got some really good players in the U18 group and I suppose tonight will be the ultimate test because Chelsea are so strong at youth level.
“It’s a great experience to see which of our players step up and embrace the occasion and which ones it affects a little more. That is what this competition is all about.”
Millwall’s youth side have progressed past Fleetwood and AFC Bournemouth to reach this stage as their young talents face the biggest game of their short careers tonight.
Chelsea are one of the more successful sides since the FA Youth Cup was created as they have won it nine times which is second only to Manchester United’s ten.
Millwall last reached an FA Youth Cup final in 1994 where they finished runners-up. They have won it in 1979 and 1991.
There is no pressure on the young Millwall players tonight as Rowett and the Lions staff will be expecting them to go out and express themselves.
He has publicly shown his support to the under-18s at The Den and just him being in attendance is likely to lift their levels by an extra 10%.
The youngsters will be getting to play in a Premier League stadium in front of a larger crowd than normal and all eyes are on them as the tie of the round.