UNDER-18s head coach John Perkins revealed his delight following his side’s emphatic 4-1 victory over West Ham United on Saturday afternoon.
A brace from Tomi Adeloye and efforts by captain Ed Sanders and forward Derice Richards secured the Potters all three points in glorious sunshine in east London.
The former Nottingham Forest youth team coach spoke to stokecityfc.com after the game and spoke about the pleasing manner of the performance and result.
“In the first half particularly I thought we played some of our best football this season which was really encouraging to see against a very good team,” Perkins said.
“They were top of their league heading into the game so we knew that we had to be really well organised, both with and without possession.
“Although they came at us in the first ten minutes, as soon as we settled ourselves down I thought we were very good and scored a great goal through Tomi and deservedly led at the break.
“I said to them at half time that we were in a similar situation last year where they changed their system slightly and managed to equalise which I didn’t want to see happen again.
“Even though they did level through an unstoppable header I thought the lads retaliated really well and subsequently went on to score three good goals.
“I was really pleased with the result but even more so with the performance of the individuals in the side and how we played our football.”
As well as praising a number his players for their first-class displays, Perkins also highlighted the performance of Adeloye who scored his second and third goals in two games for the Under-18s since arriving at the club on trial.
“Tomi has come in just like George Waring did last year and given us a tremendous presence upfront by running at people, having shots at goal and generally causing problems for the opposition,” he said.
“He’s given us a real threat in the final third which we probably haven’t had for quite a long while this season.
“When you watch him in training he scores some great goals as well as tap-ins so he has got good armoury to his game.
“He’s quite aggressive in his ways by wanting to get on the ball and score and I’ve been pleasantly pleased with his performances and attitude in training.”
The experienced coach now hopes that his side can continue their good form and start to climb the league table after playing much of the current campaign with an extremely young side.
“We’ve got six games left now and it would be good to finish on a high because it will give the lads something to aim for next season,” said Perkins.
“We will continue to do what we have done over the last few weeks with our brand of football and system of play which will hopefully see a number of individual and collective performances from the group.”