07:30 1st September 2014
Under-18s manager seeking better performances...
JOHN PERKINS believes there is room for improvement from his Under-18s side despite the team remaining unbeaten so far this season.
The young Potters have recorded wins against Liverpool and Middlesbrough in recent weeks before notching a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United on Saturday.
The experienced coach says that he will be looking for more consistency from his team as the squad look to build on a healthy points return in the opening few games of the campaign.
“If at the beginning of the season you would have said we would go into the international break with two wins and a draw we would be quite pleased,” Perkins told stokecityfc.com.
“However, following the Liverpool game when I thought we were outstanding, our performances against Middlesbrough and Newcastle have been pretty average, although we’ve been able to secure positive results.
“We have shown glimpses in the games so far of what we want to do as both individuals and a team but overall I’ve been a little bit disappointed with the performances because I know we can play better.”
He added: “I certainly feel as though there is a lot, lot more to come from the team in terms of them showing more consistency.
“You must credit the squad, however, because although we could have played better they have stuck in there and made themselves hard to beat to maintain the unbeaten run.”
The standout result of the season so far was the opening day 7-1 victory against Liverpool at Clayton Wood and Perkins revealed it was a superb performance against the Merseyside outfit.
“Although Liverpool came with a slightly weaker side the team needed to take what we had worked on during training that week into the match which they certainly did,” he said.
“The lads carried it out to the letter and you could not have seen a better performance from both an individual and team perspective.
“We scored goals following 20 odd passes and managed to hold onto the ball for long periods to allow us to dominate which was fantastic.”
City’s nine goals this season have been shared equally between Charles Weston-Hayles, Yusuf Coban and Thomas Shepherd, and the former Wolverhampton Wanderers youth coach is pleased that his frontmen are displaying a lethal touch in front of goal.
“Obviously forwards live off goals and we all know it gives them confidence,” Perkins said.
“It’s good to see Charles, Yusuf and Thomas all finding the back of the net and hopefully they can continue to do so over the rest of the year.
The Under-18s now face a two-week break before they return to action with their first away match of the season at Manchester United on Saturday, September 13th.
The team were cruelly denied a point at Carrington last season following a last minute 3-2 defeat and Perkins is hoping his team can go at least one better.
“We always seem to do reasonably well at Manchester United and should have most definitely come away with something last year,” he said.
“Obviously every season brings with it new players and personnel, and although they have got some quality youngsters as you would expect, we will go there to try and secure a positive result.”