Craig Liddle

FA Youth Cup preview

by Stuart Vose

Youngsters up for the cup ahead of City clash.

Sunderland’s under-18s are relishing tonight’s FA Youth Cup assignment, according to coach Craig Liddle.

The young Black Cats face a difficult trip to Manchester City, with the game set to be played at Edgeley Park in Stockport (KO 7pm).

Liddle admitted his side couldn’t have been handed a tougher tie but is relishing the challenge of taking on the Manchester club.

“As I’ve said previously, if you’re going to progress to the latter stages of the competition then sooner or later you have to play the better teams.

“I’m really looking forward to it and so are the players – the game can’t come soon enough for us.

“Stockport’s ground is a good stadium and I’m sure the lads are looking forward to playing there, too.”

City coach Adam Sadler will have a wealth of players to choose from and is expected to draft in several members of the club’s Elite Development squad [EDS].

“City have a huge squad and a lot of their under-18s play with the under-21s, so they’ll be dropping down in the Youth Cup side,” Liddle explained.

“We expected that and it’s just another challenge for our boys.

“I keep reminding them that this is a good opportunity for them to test themselves against the best, and I’m pretty sure they’ll give a good account of themselves.”

Meanwhile the bulk of Sunderland’s under-18 squad remained on Wearside over the weekend as a young squad featuring a number of schoolboys suffered defeat at Spurs.

That meant the more senior players had more training time and Liddle has been pleased with preparations for tonight’s game.

“We trained over the weekend and the lads were bright and bubbly,” he added.

“We’ll be fresh going into the game now. We haven’t played for 10 days or so – we’ll be prepared and ready to go.”

  • Live audio commentary will be available on SAFC TV tonight, with coverage starting at 6.50pm.