Latics need good preparation ahead of Liverpool tie

Good preparation will be the key for Athletic boss Laurent Banide as his side gear up to welcome Liverpool under-21s this evening in the opening game of this season's renamed Leasing.com Trophy.

Athletic slipped to an unfortunate 1-0 League Two opening-day defeat at Forest Green on Saturday, but now the attention switches to the competition formerly known as the Checkatrade Trophy's group stage. 

Frenchman Banide said: "Liverpool are such a big team and they have a great Academy.

"It's a fantastic club.

"We know the potential of the Liverpool Academy players so we must prepare and work well.

"Every time we must push a level and try to find a solution against our opponents.

"We have seen a reaction (to the Forest Green defeat) and we are training well with the players who need to play more.

"We have a training technique and preparation for everyone.

"Every player must work hard.

"We'll be having discussions with all the players to make sure they work more."

Meanwhile, new Athletic loan signing Ashley Smith-Brown has caught the eye of the Head Coach and Banide says the Plymouth Argyle defender is happy to be Boundary Park.

"He's been training well and I have a good feeling with him," added Banide.

"He's a good guy and he's happy to be here. 

"We need to help him to strengthen the team and feel good.

"It's our job and for the moment it's important to work well with everybody and try to prepare for the game with serenity and concentration."

The tie against Liverpool kicks-off at 7pm.

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