Craig Liddle

U18s gearing up for Spurs trip

by Ashley Houghton

We preview this weekend's Barclays U18 Premier League action.

Craig Liddle’s under-18’s travel to Tottenham Hotspur this weekend looking to continue their unbeaten start to 2013.

A win for Liddle’s young Black Cats could see them move into the top two of the Barclays U18 League Group One.

Liddle fully expects another tough test in London having already faced Spurs twice this season.

He said: “It’s going to be a tough test as we’ve got a younger side.

“We narrowly lost to them up here and lost heavily down there, so we know what they’re about.”

Liddle’s squad has been slightly depleted of late, with multiple under-18’s being included in Kevin Ball’s U21 setup.

Liddle is delighted that some of his boys are making the step up.

“The players in the development squad are off working with Kevin Ball which is again a valuable experience for them,” he said.

“Earlier on in the season the opportunities weren’t there but a few lads have gone out on loan so the lads are now taking their chance.

“They get to play against big clubs and top players which is a good stepping stone for first team level.”

The young Black Cats will be staying overnight in London in preparation for Saturday’s game and Liddle feels the overall experience is also of benefit to his young side.

“It’s going to be a good experience for the lads,” he added.

“The lads will be treated how the first team are when they go away so the boys are certainly looking forward to it.”

Saturday’s game will take place at Spurs’ Academy with kick-off set for 11am.