PAUL Furlong says his QPR Under-18s are relishing the challenge ahead of Thursday night’s trip to West Bromwich Albion in the FA Youth Cup.
Rangers head to the Hawthorns looking to cause an upset against the Baggies, who compete in the U18 Premier League and will be firm favourites to progress.
Furlong, though, insists his side won’t be overawed by the occasion.
“We’re going to respect them but not fear them,” he told www.qpr.co.uk. “They’re a Premier League club and I’m sure they’ve got some very good youngsters.
“We played them in pre-season but I don’t think that’s really a fair gauge. It will be a great challenge for our boys.”
The young R’s face the Baggies following their heroics against Rochdale in the last round at Loftus Road which saw them come back from the dead to prevail 3-2 after extra-time, while West Brom saw off Lincoln City 5-1.
Rangers are unbeaten since the turn of the year – winning one and drawing the other – and will be looking to put on another show they can be proud of.
“It was a bit of a rollercoaster against Rochdale!” Furlong joked.
“But we haven’t really dwelt on that game, we’ve tried to make it the norm. We’ve done well in the games since and the boys are in good spirits.”
Victory under the lights last time out in W12 was a first for many of the Under-18s – and a night which Furlong believes will stand them in good stead, adding: “The experience will definitely help.
“The boys deserve the opportunity to play at a stadium like The Hawthorns and no doubt playing at Loftus Road under the lights will put us in a better position than had we not.
“I’m sure the boys will be raring to go again.”
Thursday night’s game kicks off at 7 pm.
Tickets will be available on the night, priced £5 adults and £1 concessions.