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Sunderland U18s 3-0 Spurs - Kieran's verdict

Posted on 13 March 2016  - 15:07

Kieran McKenna refused to be too downbeat after our Under-18s’ 3-0 loss at Sunderland on Saturday, insisting there were “a lot of positive aspects” to take from our first-half performance at the Academy of Light.

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Having played some nice, attacking football and kept the Black Cats at bay during the opening 45 minutes, we suffered a blow when Jack Diamond stepped off the bench at the break and fired the hosts ahead within two minutes of the start of the second half.

Daniel Pybus then bagged a brace, his second goal coming from the penalty spot 10 minutes from time, as the home side claimed the points in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League.

“Obviously it’s a very disappointing result but actually we had a lot of positive aspects to the game, especially in the first half,” said Kieran, our Under-18s Coach.

“I thought we were excellent for the first 25 or 30 minutes and we should have put ourselves in a position to be one or two goals ahead. We had two good chances through Joy Mukena and Keanan Bennetts and dominated the game entirely, really, but we let them back into it a little bit before the end of the first half and then to concede the first goal shortly after half-time was disappointing.

“With the way that Sunderland were defending, the first goal was always going to be important. It was tough to break them down but at the other end we had some poor defensive lapses and some poor concentration to let them score again.

“We’re just going to have to take the positive aspects – the way we moved the ball and also the way we shut the ball down after we lost it was very positive but the defending for their goals was nowhere near good enough and we weren’t good enough in the final third to create and convert the chances that we should have done. All the players are disappointed but it’s about moving on now and improving.”