Ben Wilkinson says he is proud of the character shown by his side in City’s difficult 1-0 win over Leeds United in our Under-17s Premier League Cup quarter-final match.

City’s youngsters overcame a difficult Leeds side on Wednesday evening which saw Wilkinson’s side advance to the semi-finals of the competition.

A Stephen Mfuni headed goal was the only difference between the two sides that battled it out at the LNER Community Stadium.

And Wilkinson was pleased to see his young squad overcome one of our most difficult games of the campaign.

“It was a really tough game,” began Wilkinson.

“Leeds played really well, I thought they made it really difficult for us. I thought they were really aggressive with their pressure and had some really good moments in the first half.

 We struggled a little bit with the ball in terms of getting control of the game in the first half which meant we probably spent more time without it than normal. Because of that we probably lacked a little rhythm and probably struggled to create as many chances as we’d like.

“But I’m pleased with the lads in how they stuck at it and kept a clean sheet. I thought in the last 20 minutes to half an hour we defended our box really well and yeah sometimes it’s good for the lads to have those games and come through them.”

The hosts had the opportunity to take an early lead had it not been for the defensive heroics of full-back Seb Naylor.

But City retaliated quickly. Mfuni raced into the Leeds box for a City corner and his desire to help the team paid off.

Unmarked in the middle of the box, the centre-back dispatched his headed effort with ease and see City through to the final four.

And the boss was full of praise for the 15-year-old who has also impressed in his Under-18 Premier League and FA Youth Cup appearances.

I thought he was outstanding,” said Wilkinson. 

“I thought he was our best player. He showed real moments of quality with the ball and his defending was of a real high-level tonight in terms of his strength, his calmness, his composure, he won a lot of duels and for that reason I thought he was our outstanding player tonight.