EDS & Academy

Wilkinson: Lesson to be learnt from United defeat

Manchester City Under-18s boss Ben Wilkinson says his side can learn a lot from Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Manchester United Under-18s.

In a tight game at the City Football Academy, United were clinical in the second half scoring three goals in 45 minutes after Nico O’Reilly gave us the lead at the break.

Ethan Williams and Manni Norkett scored two goals in five minutes just after the hour mark before James Nolan scored late on to give the visitors a 3-1 lead with minutes of the game remaining.

Matthew Whittingham netted an injury-time consolation goal for City but it was United who walked away with the points on the day, with Wilkinson cutting a frustrated figure after the game.

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He said: “I thought in the first half we were good, we created lots of chances, we should have been more clinical.

“At half time I was quite pleased, but we knew there was a lot left to do in the game to make sure we got over the line.

“I thought in the second half we just lacked a little bit of courage, we made bad decisions, and we never recovered the momentum that we had until very late in the game.

“There's a lot of lessons there for us. So relatively pleased at half time, but we still knew there was a lot to do and then I thought in the second half we were poor.”

English U18 Premier League
1 Sunderland AFC Sunderland SAFC 9 6 2 1 26 13 13 20 LWDWD
2 Manchester City Manchester City Man City 9 5 2 2 27 13 14 17 WWLWD
3 Liverpool FC Liverpool Liverpool 9 5 0 4 21 16 5 15 WWWLL
Last updated: 27 November 2022

City are third in the U18s Premier League standings, three points off Sunderland in top spot and have a game in hand over Liverpool who currently occupy second place.

The young Blues travel to Stoke City next Saturday (11:30 UK), with the game being shown live on CITY+ and Recast.

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And Wilkinson is expecting a reaction from his players, he added: “They've had a little bit of criticism after the game.

“They need to take that on the chin and come back in on Monday and try work harder. They need to accept the criticism and try and right some the wrongs.

“So, an important week of training and preparation for that game [against Stoke] and then we'll see how we respond in that one next weekend.”

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