Craig Liddle

Liddle looking for response

by Ashley Houghton

Coach hopes his side can bounce-back this weekend.

Under-18s Coach Craig Liddle believes this Saturday’s visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers is the perfect opportunity for his young side to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat at Liverpool.

The young Black Cats won 4-1 at Wolves in January and, though, Wolves have not lost since that game, Liddle believes the under-18s are capable of a result.

He said: “We had a really good performance down at Wolves earlier in the year, so we’ll be looking for a repeat performance.

“They’ve been on a decent run since then - I don’t think they’ve lost any games since we beat them.

“They’ve beat some of the top sides so it’ll be another difficult game for our young team.

Kevin Ball’s under-21s don’t play again until March 11 and that means Liddle’s side could be strengthened ahead of Saturday’s clash.

“I’m a little bit unsure on what sort of age we’ll be – a few of the lads were involved with Kevin’s squad on Monday night so I’ll have to sit with Kevin and see who we’re going to use on Saturday,” he explained.

 “Hopefully we can put on a good performance and get a good result.”

As a spiral effect of multiple under-18s moving into the development squad, opportunities have become available for younger players such as Jordan Blinco to gain experience in Liddle’s side before joining full-time in the summer.

An experience Liddle feels is proving beneficial.

“Between now and the end of the season some of the young lads will be given an opportunity and it’s a great experience for them.

“It shows them what level they need to get to if they’re going to make Premier League footballers and that’s the level that they’re going to have to compete at each week.”