Craig Liddle

Liddle excited by Cup test

by Kate Smith

Coach relishing City clash.

Under-18 coach Craig Liddle says players and staff alike are looking forward to next week's big FA Youth Cup tie.

Sunderland face Manchester City at the third round stage, with the game set to be played at Ewen Fields, home of Conference Premier side Hyde.

The tie will take place on Wednesday 12 December (KO 7pm) with Sunderland's kids looking to round off the first half of their season in style.

“The tie is a great test for us,” said Liddle, who saw the young Black Cats go down 1-0 at Stoke last weekend.

“If we're going to progress in the competition we'll have to play the best sides at some stage.

“Why not start now with one of the best teams in the country early doors?

“It will be a hugely difficult test but I'm looking forward to it and I'm sure the players are as well.”

However, the under-18s face another difficult challenge before taking on City as they travel to Spurs this weekend.

The trip to London marks the end of the first phase of this season's Barclays U18 Premier League, with competing teams then splitting into groups according to league position ahead of the second half of the campaign.