Sunderland coach urges side to keep improving after Premier League Cup win over Peterborough U23s
Sunderland Under-23s boss Elliott Dickman has urged his players to keep improving following their convincing 6-2 win over Peterborough Under-23s in the Premier League Cup.
The young Black Cats progressed to the knockout stages of the competition with a game to spare, following a Jack Diamond hat-trick, two goals from Lee Connelly and a Benji Kimpioka penalty.
Yet Dickman still believes his side are capable of much more and wants them to build on recent results.
"I think there were some good bits of play in there, pleased that we progressed through the cup," said Dickman after the game at Eppleton CW, Hetton.
"I thought at times within the game some of our play was a little bit sloppy, taking too many touches, some of our decision-making, who we pass to little things like that.
"Don't get me wrong I'm pleased we're through and pleased that we won again, two on the bounce, but there are still parts of the game we could do better with."
As Dickman pointed out, his current side are still relatively inexperienced compared to other teams they have played in Premier League 2, Division 2 this season.
Yet against an even younger Posh side, Sunderland were able to dominate possession from the off, while playing much further up the pitch than in previous league games.
"We've experienced something similar what we've done to them earlier in the season ourselves," added Dickman.
"When you are playing against teams who are older, a little bit stronger, a little bit quicker, it's difficult.
"That was something that we needed and wanted to do tonight, to get after the ball and press quite high and keep possession better than what we've done.
"It's trying to get the lads to appreciate when you're working as hard as you do, when you don't have the ball week in week out against better sides, when you do get the chance to go out and play and enjoy it we want them to."
Dickman was also impressed with Diamond, 19, whose three goals marked another impressive display.
But the Sunderland coach has challenged the midfielder to find more consistency, which will help him break into the first team picture.
"He's got to start doing it consistently," added Dickman. "Great for him tonight and hopefully for him moving forward we'll get more performances like tonight.
"Mainly in the second half but just pleased that he's got his goals."
Dickman also confirmed defender Kane Evans was up and walking after taking a heavy whack on his shin.
The defender was stretchered off in the first half following a nasty-looking collision in the Sunderland box.