U23 match preview: Development team set for South Wales trip

Elliot Dickman believes the long-term development of his players is key ahead of their trip to Swansea City this weekend.

The Lads are set to face the Jacks on Sunday in the Premier League 2 at midday, as they search for their first three points of the campaign. 

Sunderland suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough on Monday night, but manager Dickman believes his players have come a long way in terms of their development so far this season. 

“The under-23s is a platform for players to develop and learn, of course we want to win, that’s just human nature, but as long as we continue to see improvement in the players that’s the main thing,” he said. 

“The most important aspect from mine and the rest of the staff’s point of view is that we continue to see the players physically, mentally and tactically get better.

“Ultimately, we want the lads to come through the other end and be around the first team squad. Some of them have a long way to go, others might be a bit closer, we want to find the best path for their progression.” 

Swansea come into the game on the back of three straight defeats, the most recent a 5-0 thrashing away to Reading on Monday night. 

And should Dickman’s side claim all three points, they will go level on points with the Swans who currently sit in 10th place.

“Swansea will be a good test, we’ve competed in the majority of the games so far this season and it has only been the odd sloppy goal that has cost us,” Dickman continued.   

“So far, barring the obvious West Brom game, we’ve created plenty of chances and I’ve been satisfied with the performances.

“We still need to tighten up defensively and be more compact out of possession. The lads have had around 12 weeks of good messages in training now and hopefully we will begin to see results on the pitch.

“If we take into the game on Sunday the good parts of our performances and take our chances, I think we can come away from Swansea with a positive result.”

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