Craig Liddle

Liddle hails 'gritty' win

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Youth coach on Villa victory.

Craig Liddle says his under-18s showed their steel as they ground out a super away win at Aston Villa over the weekend.

The young Black Cats ran out 3-2 victors in the Midlands last Saturday despite playing the final half an hour with ten men after Martin Smith was sent off.

I think we’ve been pretty consistent going forward and we’ve scored 10 goals in our three games so far

- Craig Liddle

There was no way through for the hosts as a stern rearguard action earned Sunderland their second straight win in the Barclays U18 Premier League.

“I was delighted with the win and we played extremely well, particularly in the first half,” Liddle said.

“We were under the cosh for the last half an hour following the red card, but the players threw their bodies in the way and blocked everything.

“We have given ourselves a platform to build on and back-to-back wins against two very good sides is excellent.”

Carl Lawson opened the scoring for the visitors with in-form striker Mikael Mandron adding a brace.

Frenchman Mandron has now scored four goals in just three games, with Lawson chipping in with two.

And Liddle is delighted with his side’s play going forward but says there’s still work to do defensively.

“Mika got himself another two goals and special mention has to go to Carl,” he said.

“He scored one himself and then squared the ball for Mika to score when he was clean through. It was very unselfish play.

“They’ve got a number of goals between them now and are doing well.

“I think we’ve been pretty consistent going forward and we’ve scored 10 goals in our three games so far.

“We just need to tighten up defensively because we’re more than capable of scoring goals. There are some very exciting players here.”