Barry Lewtas has told his high-flying Liverpool U18s side to embrace the cup challenges awaiting them this week as the young Reds face Accrington Stanley and Manchester United.

Before any thoughts turn to the Premier League Cup quarter-final meeting with United, their sole focus is on tonight’s FA Youth Cup fourth-round tie at St Helens.

Accrington beat Leeds United 4-2 in their third-round clash to set up a trip to face the Reds.

Kick-off at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens is at 7pm GMT and you can watch the game live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO.

  • Get your tickets by visiting the ticket office at the Totally Wicked Stadium or online by clicking here.
  • LFC season ticket holders and Members can attend the match for free by showing your card on the day.

Ahead of the match, read Lewtas’ thoughts on a busy week of cup football, the form of goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros and influence of key centre-back Rhys Williams…

On a winning start to 2019 last weekend with victory over Sunderland…

It was a tough game in terms of we had all of the ball, we had so much possession and made lots of passes in their half but it took us a while to break them down. Credit to them, they blocked us out but in the end it was definitely a deserved win but we had to work hard for it.

On the strength of his squad and young players catching the eye…

The lads who came in did well. We’ve got a big squad and all of the boys are ready to go, so when they come in they take their chances. We’ve got a few injuries at the moment so a few of the boys came in against Sunderland and, fair play, they did well.

LFCTV GO: The best of the third-round win over Portsmouth

On a week of cup ties for the U18s…

It’s a big week for us, Monday to Saturday. First and foremost, we haven’t really looked too far ahead and our main focus is on Accrington Stanley. The boys are ready and we are looking forward to it. The FA Youth Cup is a prestigious competition, the boys want to do well in it and we know we are going to be in for a real challenge. Any game against Manchester United is a big game, in the league or a friendly, but a cup quarter-final tie puts that little extra on it as well. We are in for an exciting week and we can’t wait for it.

On Accrington beating Leeds 4-2 in their third-round tie…

They did really well. I’ve watched the game back and it was against a good Leeds team, big and very physical. Accrington Stanley did extremely well and our boys know that they are in for a tough game. We’ve said to the boys this might be Accrington’s final but it’s our final as well and that’s how we will be treating it because it’s a big cup tie.

On the character of the squad shining through with the late winner against Portsmouth in the third round…

Definitely. I thought we started ever so well against Portsmouth. We were brave and got a couple of goals. We missed a couple of chances as well, which was a big turning point in the game because the momentum swung and it was then 2-2. I thought we looked physically good, we kept our way of playing and scored a good goal at the end to win it.

On his side’s ability to score goals from all over the park…

Obviously there is an individual element to that and we have boys on the pitch who know where the goal is and can finish well. Behind that we have a way of playing and we keep playing that way even when we come under pressure. We can create and we know right until the final whistle we can keep creating chances and score goals.

On playing at St Helens again, which has been something of a lucky charm so far this season in Europe as well…

It has been great. It’s a great facility and it’s well looked after and we like playing there. The whole set-up is really good, the pitch is great so thanks to St Helens for having us and we are looking forward to playing there again.

On the influence of Rhys Williams at the back with Tom Clayton sidelined through injury…

Tom and Rhys are two of our older players and playing in their position carries a lot of responsibilities. Both of them have really stepped up to the plate for us this season, both in possession and out of it. Sadly, Tom will be out of action for a while now and it will be Rhys’ job to carry his new partner along. Rhys will play a big part for us now in the second part of the season. It’s a shame for Tom but it’s someone else’s opportunity now. We’ve got people like Remi Savage and Morgan Boyes, two left-footers who are waiting to come in. Rhys will help them definitely.

On goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros enjoying a few days training at Melwood last week…

He has been great this season and done really well for us. His distribution has been a real plus and we’ve got him playing out from the back. He can play longer passes into the No.9, he can play over the top and he is calm in possession. He has done extremely well and for us as well, because of the way we play, we have been a bit open at times but we know we’ve got a goalkeeper who can keep us in games. He’s had plenty of work, maybe a bit too much, but it’s a great experience for him to go up to Melwood.

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