City face Middlesbrough at their Rockliffe training ground on Saturday afternoon, looking to bounce back from their difficult start to the season.
Adam Sadler’s men were beaten 6-1 at Chelsea on Saturday in a match where they shipped four goals in the second half.
It was a dominant performance from the London club in the second half but the City u18s manager believes that the scoreline was a little harsh on his players.
“It was almost like putting a team together on a Saturday morning who hadn’t spent a lot of time together in pre-season which is always going to be difficult but it gives us a starting point and we can focus on those areas that we need to improve,” Sadler stated.
“It was a difficult opponent today, Chelsea are a very good side at this level but it could have easily been 3-3 at half-time – unfortunately, we conceded quickly after half-time and as that half went on our players tired and it made it difficult to keep Chelsea at bay.”
“What pleases me is that we kept making chances right until the bitter end – now we just need to start taking them.”
Devante Cole was the sole scorer for City and it was his combination with Jose Angel Pozo that signposted a bright spot on an otherwise disappointing day for the Blues.
““Pozo is a really good player, I feel like we’ve got a really good connection now and we just sense where each other will be on the pitch.”
Cole is working his way back from a lengthy knee cartilage injury but is feeling close to fitness against after his lay off.
“We were really disappointed to lose heavily against Chelsea in the opening fixture but from a personal point of view, it was great to get on the scoresheet on my way back from injury,” he said.
“I’ve had a long lay off and I’m not quite feeling 100% yet - maybe more like 90/95% but I’m close to a full training program now and it’s all about getting minutes on the pitch now and hopefully scoring more goals.”
Middlesbrough drew 1-1 in their first match against Crystal Palace and Sadler believes there will be a more level playing ground in place when they meet his City side.
“As a North East boy myself, I know that it will be a good game at Middlesbrough, as the staff produce really good quality players,” said Sadler.
“I think it might be a little bit more of a matchup than the Chelsea game and that they are likely to be very similar to us but we know that they will be up for it as they’re facing City so it will another good test.”
You can follow goal updates live on the Official Manchester City Twitter account from the match which kicks off at 1pm. We’ll also have a full report on the site shortly after full-time.