EDS & Academy

Wilkinson: Our attitude was excellent

Ben Wilkinson says the attitude shown by his City side was excellent as we ran out 5-0 winners against Blackburn Rovers at the City Football Academy.

A perfect hat-trick from Alfie Harrison alongside goals form Dan Ogwuru and Joel Ndala saw us pick up valuable points in the Under-18s Premier League North.

Table-toppers Sunderland Under-18s were held at home and second-placed Liverpool-Under18s were beaten on the road against Wolves Under-18s, meaning City close the gap on those above them.

Concentration was firmly on his side rather than elsewhere, with Wilkinson full of praise for a mature performance from his men.

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He said: “I thought their attitude was excellent, when you come in 3-0 up and then go 4-0 with quite a lot of changes, it is easy for the level to drop but we were desperate to keep a clean sheet.

“We were very good, it is really pleasing in terms of the football we played, exploiting their front two and playing through.

“In the final third we were excellent we made some really good decisions which we have spoken about a lot, making sure we make the right ones in the final third of the pitch.

“We scored five and I think we could have scored more, the lads were really good but it was a really pleasing performance for me.”

Premier League u18
1 Manchester City Manchester City Man City 15 10 3 2 53 15 38 33 DWWWW
2 Sunderland AFC Sunderland SAFC 12 8 2 2 32 14 18 26 DWDWL
3 Manchester United FC Manchester United Man United 12 7 3 2 30 18 12 24 WWWWD
Last updated: 4 February 2023

Harrison’s outing was undoubtedly the highlight in a game that was full of quality, with his three goals demonstrating what the midfielder has in his locker.

A first-half header was followed up with a solo effort, before he rounded his treble off was a well-placed volley.

And his manager was impressed by what he saw him his number eight.

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“He has had to be patience and wait for his chance this season and I think he got rewarded for the things we have been speaking about as a group, in terms of positions in the box when we are crossing the ball,” he added.

“It is not asking him to score wondergoals from 30 yards, it is just being in the right positions when the balls come in and he did that, one touch finishes in the box and I am really pleased for him.

“He has taken the opportunity, he showed us a lot of good things that we know he has got, we are blessed that we have a lot of good players in those positions.

“We know what he is capable of, he is a midfield player that will score goals for sure and I am delighted for him, it is more minutes for him and I am pleased overall.”

You can watch our Under-18s in action live on CITY+ and Recast twice in November. Firstly, we face Stoke City on 19 November then we’ll play Sunderland on 26 November.

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