"With the cup games being played in the evenings you usually get a better atmosphere so I guess that does give the boys an extra incentive. But they need to knuckle down and make sure they impress.

"The Youth Cup does add a little bit of spice but it will be about how much the team are prepared to put in."

It's an exciting period for the academy. After their FA Youth Cup fifth round-tie against Charlton on Friday, Arsenal will quickly turn their attention to their Uefa Youth League game against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

It will be a physical test for us. Charlton are a strong side who get the ball forward quickly

Carl Laraman

But Carl Laraman is making sure the young Gunners don't get carried away - at this stage of their blossoming career, development rather than results remains the main focus.

"Each young player that we have here in a full-time environment deserves your attention so each player deserves his own right to develop," Laraman told Arsenal.com. "We have individual plans for all of the boys and we work on all of their strengths and weaknesses.

"It's just part of being a youth coach that you have to develop the players not just as footballers but as people who are going to go out into the world and be able to strike up conversations with people and develop their all-round personalities."

Arsenal have progressed to the last 16 of the competition with relative ease, beating Torquay 5-0 back in December before cruising past Peterborough last month. But Charlton, as Laraman explains, will provide a whole different challenge for his side.

"I went to watch the previous round they played Southampton and it will be a tough game. Charlton play with a contrasting style to us, we like to throw it out and play from the back, they are slightly more direct than us.

"It will be a physical test for us. Charlton are a strong side who get the ball forward quickly. They will play a high line and push up quickly plus they like to play their two centre forwards in wide areas. Their No 10 plays from a deep-lying position so that will be a different problem for us to deal with. They will try and overload us in midfield as well."

Carl Laraman
Carl Laraman

Laraman will have a strong squad to pick from on Friday. Chuba Akpom's loan deal with Coventry City allows him to take part in Friday's tie as well as Tuesday's clash with Shakhtar, and talented midfielder Gedion Zelalem is also likely to feature.

"We've got a full group of players to pick from, apart from Daniel Crowley," Laraman said. "We've got Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alex Iwobi who have done really well in the Youth League and the under-18s this season. It is about development still but we're in good shape and we want to have a run in the cup.

"Every club that starts out in the Youth Cup would like to go as far as they possibly can and we're no different. We have a set of boys who are available to play in the Youth Cup that don't often play on Saturday, so they don't play together a lot. Bur this particular group are a very talented bunch of players."

This game will be played at Ebbsfleet United FC. We will have live tweets from the @Arsenal account from 6.55pm (UK time)

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
Isaac Moore 20 Feb 2014