U23 match preview: Dickman on International Cup showdown

Elliott Dickman is hopeful his players can bounce back from successive defeats tonight when they bid to advance to the knockout stages of the Premier League International Cup as group winners.

Up against Leicester City at the Stadium of Light, kick-off 7pm, Sunderland under-23s return to Wearside after Friday’s mammoth journey to face Brighton & Hove Albion.

And following a frustrating defeat on the south coast, Dickman believes the latest crop of players to step into the under-23s should learn a lot from their recent performances.

Speaking to safc.com, the development team boss went on to pull no punches ahead of tonight’s match, which was originally due to be played at Eppleton CW, admitting his players must learn to be more ruthless both in and out of possession.

“The big plus is that at Brighton we created a number of chances,” he said.

“It felt like a game we were comfortable in. We were doing great, but we thought we were always a bit vulnerable to being caught on the counter-attack due to the pace they had with their two strikers.

“We dominated the ball on Friday and there haven’t been many under-23 games this season when we can say we have dominated possession.

“But the challenge now is making sure we capitalise when we have it – can we find that pass that can really open a team up?

“We created a lot of chances but just couldn’t score,” he continued.

“In the end we gifted them three goals and from that side of things we must do better.”

Please note the venue for tonight's Premier League International Cup has changed. The game will now be played at the Stadium of Light instead of Eppleton CW. The match will kick-off at the same time (7pm).
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