Sunderland under-18s coach Paul Bryson was quick to praise his younger than usual side following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Black Cats took the lead after 28 minutes as Tom Scothern finished off a well-worked team move, only for Kevin Berkoe’s 56th minute lob to ensure both sides shared the spoils at the Academy of Light.
Bryson was keen to stress his delight with the display, with his under-18 team forced to call upon under-15 and under-16s players to fill out his depleted squad.
“Overall it was a really hard working and disciplined all-round team performance,” said Bryson.
“I was really pleased especially with how young the side was due to players playing for the under-23s, players on international duty and players injured meaning we had 13 players not available for selection.
“We were really stretched to the limit personnel wise but I thought the younger lads handled it really well, I was very pleased with them.”
The draw was the under-18s’ first home game of 2019, with their most recent appearance at the Academy of Light a 3-3 draw with Brighton in the Premier League Cup back in December.
Bryson was particularly pleased with his side’s opening goal, which was one thing his players worked on prior to kick-off.
“We knew the way they played with the three centre-backs so we were conscious of switching play and trying to play down their sides,” he continued.
“It’s come to fruition really because a midfield player played it into the wide player and he’s put a cross in.
“Another thing we had been working on was midfield runners getting into the box, so it’s really pleasing when you work on stuff and it comes off during the game.”