We preview this weekend’s action in the Barclays U18 Premier League.
Sunderland’s under-18’s are in action this Saturday, hosting West Ham United at the Academy of Light in the Barclays U18 Premier League.
The young Black Cats have played three games so far in 2013, winning one, drawing one and losing one.
They were defeated by a 5-1 scoreline at Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, but head of coaching Elliott Dickman believes the players learnt a lot from the reverse in London.
He said: “The lads were a little bit flat on Monday, as you can understand.
“We sat and watched the game and had a good conversation with them.
“I don’t think we did ourselves any justice, especially in the first half.
“It’s definitely a learning curve, and a lot of them will have learnt a lot from the first half about things that they could do a lot better.
“In the second half we did what I class as the basics a little bit better, but the damage had already been done.”
The Hammers travel north level of points with Sunderland having played a game less, and Dickman expects a difficult test.
“Last time they came up here it was a good, close game,” he explained.
“They have that tradition of producing some top quality players; we’re expecting a tough football game and it’ll be a challenge for the lads.
“It’s fantastic that we’ve got a game straight away and that we can rectify what we didn’t do right against Tottenham.”
The game kicks off at 11am. Check safc.com on Saturday afternoon for a full report and reaction.