Craig Liddle

Liddle reviews Baggies clash

by Ashley Houghton

U18 coach on home point.

Craig Liddle says he was content with his players’ work ethic as Sunderland's under-18s drew 1-1 with West Bromwich Albion at the Academy of Light.

Having gone behind early in the second half Liddle’s side bounced back through a fine goal from Liam Agnew.

And Liddle said Agnew’s quality strike was just reward for his boys sticking at the task.

“I thought in the first half we did okay, but we lost our way for 20-25 minutes of the second half where we were second best," he explained.

“To give the lads credit they stuck at it and got an equaliser against the run of play.

“They [West Brom] are a decent side but I think we can be a little bit better than that, the one positive we can take is that we didn’t lose and worked hard right till the end and finished the stronger side.”

Liddle added: “The one bit of quality from our point of view was Liam Agnew’s finish which was very good.

“The way the boys kept going pleased me; if you don’t play and you’re prepared to fight and scrap for things, that’s good.”

An inspired performance from young Republic of Ireland international goalkeeper Peter Burke was another positive from Liddle’s point of view.

Burke made a string of fine saves, with the pick of them coming 20 minutes from time when he prevented the visitors from doubling their advantage.

“He [Burke] made four or five really good saves,” Liddle said.

“It’s been a tough year for Peter because Johnny Maddison was playing the majority of games in the first part of the season, but credit to Peter because he’s come in and proved that he is capable.”