Our development squad return to PL2 action this evening as they take on west London rivals Fulham at Kingsmeadow with kick-off scheduled for 7pm. All tickets for this fixture have now sold out.

We strongly advise all supporters not to travel to Kingsmeadow without a ticket.

Both sides opened their season with convincing victories, as our young Blues beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 7-1 and the away side despatched West Ham United by three goals to one.

Revisiting last week

Mark Robinson’s men delivered a world class performance away from home last week as they hammered Wolves, scoring seven goals of quality.

Jayden Wareham and Harvey Vale each bagged a brace and Alfie Gilchrist scored from close range. Dion Rankine also managed to score a brace on the opening weekend and he in particular stood out in his performance against the side from the West Midlands.

Rankine has been at the club since his under-14 season, joining from Cambridge United in 2016. The tricky winger has matured in his game over time, which has seen him be deployed as a wing-back, and he spoke to us about his evolution as a player.

‘Change in my game’

‘I have settled in my role as a wing-back having spent a full season there and I believe I am ready to contribute statistically as well now,' said Rankine.

'I think I am very familiar with the position now and the manager has confidence in my abilities there.’

Since Robinson’s arrival, Rankine has been one of his most used players.

‘The manager wants me to express myself even though I have a lot more defensive responsibilities in this role. He wants me to take every opportunity to beat my man and put in crosses for us to score.’

Room for improvement

Fresh off his brace against Wolves, Rankine did not want to pat himself on the back but rather he is motivated to do more, citing his performance as evidence that he can still grow.

‘I played well, and I am happy about the goals that I scored. One of the things going into the season I wanted to improve is the goals and assists I get in a season, and I am very happy to have started fast. However, I still think I can do better, and I want to maintain a consistent number of top performances. This will keep me in the team.’

Team feelings

Even despite some troubles last year, a key component exhibited from our young Blues was togetherness and how strong mentality the group were. Rankine reiterated this and said that the boys want to use this season as a chance to show themselves what they are capable of.

‘We are all so close off the pitch and it helps with our communication and chemistry on the pitch. Last year was a tough season but we are more experienced now and we have learnt from our mistakes.’

He added that ‘it is now time to kick-on and prove to ourselves what we are capable of.’

The west London derby against Fulham is scheduled to kick-off at 7pm and will be held at Kingsmeadow. Robinson and his young Blues will be looking for victory in their first home league game of the season against a tricky side.

Involvement for first team players

A number of first team players are set to accrue some valuable match minutes tonight to help their fitness, including Ben Chilwell, Trevoh Chalobah, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ethan Ampadu and Carney Chukwuemeka.