Having hit a rich vein of form in the league, Chelsea Under-21s head coach Mark Robinson is hoping to carry that across into a Premier League Cup last 16 tie against Norwich City.

After a tricky first half of the season, as several members of a young squad got to grips with the step up to Under-21s level, the Blues have been in impressive form since the turn of the year.

Chelsea have won all five fixtures in the Premier League 2 during that time and have suffered just one defeat in all competitions since the start of 2024, the narrow 2-1 loss to a much older and experienced PSV Eindhoven side in the Premier League International Cup.

Next up is the last 16 of the domestic Premier League Cup, when we host Norwich City at Kingsmeadow at 7pm on the evening of Monday 26 February.

For head coach Mark Robinson, it is very much a case of keeping it going, as he has been pleased with both the team’s performances and the players' development, two key focus points for any Academy side.

‘It’s five league wins on the spin now, and we’re pleased with our form generally,’ reflected Robinson, ahead of bidding for a place in the quarter-finals on Monday evening.

‘Even the PSV game that we lost was a high-quality match, and there are always things you wish you had done better, but fundamentally we lost to a very controversial decision to give them a penalty.

‘We’re pleased with our form and, just as importantly, we’re pleased with the individual development of our players.

‘There are players who are performing really well at the moment and doing things they weren’t doing earlier in the season, which are in line with their development targets. That is the really pleasing thing at the moment.’

This cup match also comes at a busy time for our Under-21s, being the team’s fourth game in the space of 12 days – and there is another big one against Arsenal coming up four days later – in addition to several members of the squad being involved for our men’s and Under-18s sides during that period.

However, Robinson believes he has been able to manage his squad well going into this knockout fixture, particularly in the 3-1 league win at Middlesbrough on Friday, to give us the best chance possible of progressing into the quarter-finals.

‘With the busy schedule we’ve had, and bearing in mind we had this big game following on Monday night, we tried to freshen up as much as we could for the league game against Middlesbrough.

‘We had two or three players do 90 minutes at Middlesbrough who we were hoping wouldn’t have to, but that’s better than six having to do that.

‘So we found a balance between finding the win and getting younger lads minutes on the pitch. All in all it was a really good game, especially with another big game to come.’