Our U18s manager Neil Critchley has praised 17-year-old starlet Toni Gomes after the striker smashed home a hat-trick in the final U18s league game of the season against Sunderland on Tuesday.
“Toni’s just a great example for all the boys”, he said (via Echo).
“Recently he hasn’t started in some of the Youth Cup games. He’d have been disappointed but his reaction to that is he’s never any different. He’s always the same humble, hard-working boy.
“He doesn’t get affected by disappointments. he just shows great endeavour, great enthusiasm and he’s relentless in his work. You wouldn’t want to be playing against him in that form.”
The Reds went on the win the game 5-0, after three goals in five minutes either side of half-time.
“I think 5-0 flattered us I have to be honest. At half-time we were 4-0 up and it could have been 4-4 or 5-5. We were just very clinical in our finishing,” said Critchley.
“Some of the goals we scored were outstanding moves, outstanding goals. We scored early and then, especially out of possession, we weren’t quite at it in terms of how we wanted to defend.
“I was a bit disappointed at half-time, even at 4-0 up, it sounds ridiculous.”
We eventually finished third in the league, five points behind Everton and Man City who both finished on 48 points. It was more than adequate to qualify for the post-season, but the boss says we could, and should, have finished higher.
“Third place – I think we should have been even higher. At Liverpool at whatever age group you’ve got to be pushing the boys higher all the time to achieve their potential because the goal they’re aiming for is a very difficult one to reach. We can’t rest on our laurels and must do better all the time.”
Our first post-season match sees Blackburn visit Kirkby on Saturday morning, with a game against Arsenal in the FA Youth Cup the following weekend.