STOKE CITY'S Under-18s boss John Perkins declared himself pleased with the performance against Aston Villa on Saturday despite a 2-1 defeat.
The Potters, who fielded a very young side due to injuries, were unfortunate not to claim a point in a dominant second period at Villa’s training ground.
Perkins spoke to stokecityfc.com after the match and said there were many positives to take away from the game.
“It was the youngest side we have put out this season with six Under-17s and Under-16s and two or three making their debuts,” he said.
“In the first half I thought we were very average and struggled to get into the match, but we won the second half 1-0 and there were a lot a positives to take out of it.
“We got the goal after an hour and had one or two chances after that and in the end I thought we finished the stronger of the two sides.
“Overall we were quite pleased because Villa are a good team who have had some tremendous results this season and we always stuck in there to give ourselves a fighting chance.”
City also had to deal with a goalkeeping crisis after just seven minutes when Dominic Kurasik was knocked unconscious and with no imminent replacement captain Ed Sanders donned the gloves for a short period.
“We didn’t have a goalkeeper on the substitutes’ bench but were allowed to bring Daniel Gyollai over from Under-16s who were playing on the next pitch, and it was just while we were getting sorted out that Ed Sanders went in goal,” Perkins revealed.
“Ed has actually done that before last year in a pre-season friendly against Northampton Town when Daniel Bachmann picked up an injury whilst playing for us.
“It was Daniel Gyollai’s first game for the Under-18s and he came in and did well.”
The Potters travel to Merseyside next weekend to take on a Liverpool side they thrashed 4-0 and 4-1 at home and away respectively last season and Perkins is looking forward to the game.
“Fixtures against Liverpool are always good and a challenge for us,” he added, “hopefully we’ll have one or two back from injury in time for the game.”