Youngsters pushing for play-offs

by Stuart Vose

U21s' season boils down to final game.

The development squad’s push for a play-off place in the Barclays U21 Premier League will go to the final game of the campaign.

The U21 side ran out 3-0 winners over Spurs on Monday evening and have one game left to play – against West Ham United on Wearside next Thursday.

A victory in that fixture would see Sunderland end the regular season with 38 points, leaving the Black Cats’ fate in the hands of teams around them with games in hand.

The top four teams will qualify for the play-offs, with the Black Cats currently sitting outside those positions on goal difference in fifth place.

“It [pushing for the play-offs] is important for the players,” coach Kevin Ball said.

“They knew they needed to get a result [against Spurs] as well as against West Ham to give themselves a chance, and if they succeed then that’s a fantastic achievement.”