Jimmy Neighbour is delighted with the character shown by his Under-17s after their Christmas hangover.
The youngsters have lost just one in six either side of the Christmas break - that defeat a disappointing performance at Wimbledon in their first week back.
The acid test has followed in the last fortnight. Jimmy's lads have performed well against table-topping West Ham and Southampton, drawing both games 1-1 and drawing praise from their coach along the way.
Jimmy said: "The first game after Christmas against Wimbledon was poor and I said afterwards I would give them that one.
"Credit to them, they've come back and played well against two good sides.
"We played Southampton a couple of months ago and lost 4-2 and if we'd have stayed the same we'd have lost the game on Saturday by the same score.
"But we didn't because we've improved defensively, our approach play and build-up play is a lot better and we are scoring more goals. I'm really pleased with how they've turned out at the moment.
"Now they've got to do it against the so-called 'lesser' sides."