UNDER-18S head coach John Perkins was delighted with his side’s performance after they recorded an emphatic 4-1 victory over Liverpool in their latest outing.
The triumph, secured courtesy of first half goals from Jake Cook, Yusuf Coban and a brace from left back Curtis Strong, was the team’s first league win since the turn of the year.
The former Nottingham Forest, Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers youth coach spoke to stokecityfc.com after the game and revealed his delight at the manner of the win.
“It has been a long time coming but it was good to get a victory at last,” Perkins said.
“It will certainly boost the lads’ confidence levels between now and the end of the season.
“I thought we thoroughly deserved the win against a good Liverpool side that contained six youth internationals and a number of second year scholars.
“The lads dealt with the game extremely well especially in the first half when we had a great tempo to our play.
“We set up before the match to ensure that we started brightly and get at the opposition as soon as possible so they couldn’t settle and that’s exactly what we manage to do.”
The Potters took the lead as early as the fourth minute through right back Cook and Perkins lavished praise on the youngster for his wonder-strike before speaking in similar terms about fellow defender Strong, whose second goal was also of the highest quality.
“We’ve got one camera angle from behind the goal of Jake’s effort and the way the ball moved was truly incredible,” he said.
“He’d run from the halfway line and straight through their midfield before hitting a great shot which was tremendous to see.”
He added: “I thought Curtis’s goal was first and foremost a great move between Kieran Monlouis and Derice Richards to set him up inside the area.
“From there on in he did well to move the ball onto his standing foot before expertly curling it into the far corner. It was a really well thought out move.”
The experienced boss also highlighted the performance of first year scholar Johnville Renee-Pringle who he felt shone in the City midfield.
“Johnville is a very good competitor and is one of those players who you would want in the trenches with you because he has a never say die attitude” said Perkins.
“I thought he performed really well throughout the game and his pass competition ratio was very high.
“He has just got to keep going the way he is and like the rest of the players needs to look at the example of Eddy Lecygne who is now regularly with Glyn’s Under-21 group.
“Eddy has become the benchmark for the lads, but for them to follow in his footstep they have got to become more consistent. To do that they need to come in every day to work hard on their game and doing everything they possibly can when they are out on the pitch.”
The Under-18s are back in action this coming weekend when they travel to Blackburn Rovers, eager to build upon their superb showing against Liverpool.
“Hopefully we can take our good performance against Liverpool into the rest of the season, starting with an away game against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
“We know however it is going to be a tough game because they beat Manchester United 4-2 away from home recently but having said that we will certainly go there in high spirits after Saturday’s win.”