U18s: Atkinson on Potters encounter

Mark Atkinson will target three points this weekend when Sunderland under-18s entertain Stoke City at the Academy of Light.

The young Black Cats welcome the Potters to Wearside, with both sides searching their first U18 Premier League win of the 2017-18 campaign.

Stoke City have two points from four matches while Atkinson’s side have amassed one point from their opening three matches.

But victory over West Ham United last Saturday in the Premier League Cup has provided Atkinson’s side with a launchpad to build from, and now the under-18s boss has set his sights on achieving consistency as the Black Cats look to climb the league table.

“It would be great to get a win and that would be the best outcome because we want to build on what we showed against West Ham United,” he said.

“That is what we want to do and for us, that’s the most important thing.

“There were a lot of positives, plenty of things to work on but we are just looking for that performance on Saturday.

“That has to come first and foremost. We want to become more consistent with the way we play and what we do.

“Consistency is really important at youth team level. We don’t expect them to produce their best game week in week out but we have to strive for it.”

He continued: “If you look at the best players in the world they generally do it week in week out so that’s what our under-18s need to look at.

“That is what they have got to strive towards and it starts at this level now.”

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