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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Perkins Pleased With A Point

Under-18s boss John Perkins revealed he was pleased with the application of his players after they came away from the Bolton Wanderers Academy with a point on Saturday morning.

The 0-0 draw saw the young Potters stop a run of three straight defeats after previous losses to Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool and Aston Villa.

City's starting eleven contained two schoolboys and seven first-year scholars, and Perkins says he was pleased with their performance and how they dug deep when under sustained pressure.

"It was without doubt the youngest side we have fielded for a long, long time and I was delighted with their desire and attitude which was the basis for us to play our game," Perkins said.

"In the last 20 minutes of the first half Bolton put us under a lot of pressure and maybe a couple of weeks ago we would have been one or two nil down, but they kept going and put their bodies on the line which I thought was very commendable.

"If we had put out the same side as we did against Bolton at the beginning of the season then we would have probably got beat so it just shows how well they are doing at the moment."

It was City's first clean sheet in nine attempts and Perkins felt his side could have gone on to nick all three points against the Trotters.

"I was pleased with the clean sheet, especially away from home," he said, "Daniel Gyollai performed well in goal for us and I thought the team as a whole defended brilliantly."

"With a bit more quality in the final third we maybe could have gone on to claim the win."

"Yusuf Coban's probably had the best chance of the game with a free header in the dying moments of the first half which he was unfortunate to see hit the post, but at least he got in the right position."

Meanwhile, Perkins saw Jake Cook, Ed Sanders, Eddy Lecygne, Joel Taylor and Derice Richards play for the development squad in midweek and he says it will help their development.

"Five of the Under-18s made the step up to the Under-21s on Thursday night and played a significant part in the game so progress is being made slowly but surely," said Perkins.

"The development of the players is key and for every one who has made the move up to the Under-21s or Under-18s this season they will have gained invaluable experience which will only help them in the long run."

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