PUTTING a complete performance together will be the order of the day for Swindon Town under 18s when they take on Portsmouth under 18s in the Youth Alliance League this afternoon, according to manager David Farrell.

The youth team boss said his players have been working hard all week in training in order to try and iron out the inconsistencies that have blighted their previous half-a-dozen fixtures.

Two wins and four losses – largely recorded in alternating fashion – have seen Farrell’s men dumped out of the FA Youth Cup and pushed into the midriff of the Youth Alliance Group D table.

Swindon will look to secure their spot in the 2020 Merit League with a more consistent run of positive results before January 18 – starting with Pompey at lunchtime.

Farrell said: “We haven’t played much at all in recent weeks, so the lads are itching to get back to it.

“We’ve worked hard all week on a few different strategies in preparation for the weekend, so we’ve just go to make sure we start putting it into practice a bit more on game day.

“We’ve been quite inconsistent over the last few games, but results aside, some of the performances have been ok.

“We need to try and put it all together this weekend.”

Inconsistent was the word of the day from Farrell as he discussed the nuances of coaching at under-18 level.

The former Peterborough United player said his plans for gameday generally revolve around a few different tactical set-ups so that his academy prospects are prepared for anything they might find in the professional game – should they make it.

Therefore, an overload of information and tactical immaturity can lead to up and down performances on a Saturday admitted Farrell.

He said: “It’s the nature of the beast really, the inconsistencies of young players. We’ve had some really, really good performances this season and we’ve had some really, really bad ones.

“It’s just a case of trying to find that middle ground – though I’m sure there are a lot of other managers at this level with the same issue as me.”

“As far as Portsmouth goes, I don’t take much notice of the league table because every team is beatable on the day in this league.

“They like to play through the thirds of the pitch – as do we – so we’ve got to try and make sure we match them on the day and put into practice what we’ve been doing on the training ground all week.”