Sunderland Under-23s gear up for Premier League 2 test against Manchester United

Sunderland Under-23 boss Elliott Dickman

Sunderland Under-23 boss Elliott Dickman

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Sunderland Under-23s return to league action when they host Manchester United on Monday night.

Elliott Dickman’s side have had a busy week of cup action with games against Burnley and Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League Cup, victory over Rovers saw them go through as group winners.

All thoughts now turn to Premier League 2 action, with the visit of the Red Devils to Eppleton Colliery Welfare, in Hetton, on Monday, March 6 (KO 7pm).

Ahead of the Manchester United game, Dickman has praised his side for the positive response shown in the 1-0 win over Rovers after the heavy 5-3 thrashing at Burnley.

Striker Josh Maja scored the only goal as Sunderland won the group.

“The pleasing thing was that we had a response [from Burnley],” said Dickman.

“I thought we did well and we had a real appetite to defend, press the ball and stick together. James Talbot didn’t have much to do and that’s credit to the lads in front of him.

“I thought we played some good football as well, and even though it was only 1-0 I thought we could have scored more.

“It wasn’t a defensive performance and I thought we tried to play and score goals, but like I said the pleasing thing was the appetite to win the ball back when we didn’t have it.”

Games are coming thick and fast for the Under-23s, with Talbot looking forward to the United test: “It is good to play the amount of games we have done this season. They’ve come thick and fast all year but the lads have never stopped working hard.”

Entry to Monday night’s game is free for Sunderland AFC season card holders on production of their valid 16-17 season card. Non-season card holders pay £3 for adults and £1 for over 65s and under 16s.