Fairweather looking for a response from Sunderland’s youngsters

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UNDER-18s coach Carlton Fairweather says Sunderland need to show some character by bouncing back from their St James’s Park hiding.

Some of the Sunderland players were in tears as they left the pitch on Tyneside and Fairweather says it is important to see a reaction in Saturday’s trip to Manchester City.

“The FA Youth Cup is a stage and the lads are disappointed,” said the former Wimbledon striker. “We’re disappointed as staff for them, but it’s a case of picking them up, getting back to training and taking it from there.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about the games you play now. We’re trying to produce players to play in the first-team.

“It’s about making sure they develop well as individuals and hopefully performances will pick up. You have to learn from experiences like this.

“We’ll pick out errors and get ready for the Man City game on Saturday.”

Fairweather felt Newcastle’s opening goal, on the stroke of half-time, was the one which really hurt the Wearsiders.

He added: “If we had gone in at half-time at 0-0, it would have been a different second half. But the fact we gave away a goal that late in the first half, was disappointing.

“We did do well in the first 40-odd minutes. In the second half we came out, started brightly, but were disappointed with the way we conceded.

“We never really threatened their goalie. We had some good link-up play to the edge of the box, but needed to work harder on our final ball.”