UNDER-18S MANAGER John Perkins was pleased to see his side record back-to-back wins for the first time this season as they overcame Leicester City on Saturday morning.
Second half strikes from forwards Tomi Adeloye and Derice Richards claimed a 2-0 win at Clayton Wood and it followed an emphatic 4-1 victory against West Ham United the previous weekend.
The experienced youth coach told stokecityfc.com that it's encouraging to see the team finally convert their chances in front of goal and start picking up positive results on a consistent basis.
"Over the last two or three weeks we have turned a little bit and the players have all of a sudden started to click, both as individuals and a team," Perkins revealed.
"It started with the game against Everton and has gradually got better with the win against West Ham United and now Leicester City.
"We played really well and went 1-0 up minutes into the second half through another really well taken goal by Tomi however, we should have gone into the break two or three goals in front to be perfectly honest.
"I thought out passing game was good and the lads showed great attitude and movement against a decent Leicester team.
"After we'd scored the opener there was a period of 15-20 minutes where they made it hard for us and we didn't get out too well, but eventually we came back into it and scored a thoroughly deserved goal through Derice at the end.
He added: "Most of the season we have been lacking that cutting edge up front but over the last three games we have had players come into the side who are obviously capable of causing problems up front, creating chances and ultimately taking them."
The Under-18s have five games remaining this season against fellow Category One academies with a rearranged trip to Blackburn Rovers next up on Tuesday morning.
Perkins is hopeful that his side can continue their good run of form and says the quick succession of games before the end of April will provide his players with a real experience of what it is like to play at the highest level.
"We have got quite a good run of games now because we play Tuesday and Saturday for pretty much the rest of the season," he said.
"There is a lot of football to look forward to for the lads and with the encouraging signs at the moment we are hoping that we can maintain our momentum, individually and collectively.
"It's an ideal situation really because we will be training, travelling and playing in short periods so if the lads are to progress in the game then they have got to get used to it because it is part and parcel of what it is like at the elite level.
"They will need to learn how to rest and treat themselves correctly off the football pitch over the next few weeks so it will certainly prove to be a good learning curve for them."