Manchester United’s under-18s side had a game they won’t want to dwell on at the weekend.
United were thumped 5-0 by a more experienced Liverpool side, and were totally outmatched.
The club took a gamble at the start of the season by promoting the key players from last season’s under-18s side to the under-23s.
This included striker Charlie McNeill, who struck 24 goals in 21 under-18 league games last season.
Others like Dillon Hoogewerf and Noam Emeran, now 18, had to step up anyway.
This has left a core group based of last season’s under-16s side, and there will be a few tough results along the way as the players adjust to the step up.
Team captain Marc Jurado, 17, sent a rallying call on social media after the heavy loss.
Jurado said that while he was disappointed, he wanted the team to keep pushing and keep competing.
Reasons to be optimistic
After opening losses against City and Liverpool without a goal scored, the under-18s have a chance to kick on against Leeds next weekend.
United beat Leeds home and away in the under-18s last season, and while both victories were inspired by McNeill, this is a good chance to get back on track.
The team could be strengthened by new signing Ethan Ennis, who was pictured training at Carrington for the first time at the weekend.
United also welcomed back midfielder Daniel Gore late in the defeat to Liverpool as a substitute. He scored in the FA Youth Cup last season and will look to make a positive impact now he is fit again.
If there was another consolation to take from United’s heavy under-18s defeat to Liverpool, it was a victory against them on the same day.
United’s under-16s beat Liverpool 4-2 on Saturday, with Ethan Wheatley among the scorers.
The side boasted defender Jack Kingdon, who has already made his under-18s debut last season, and there could be a few more players who end up stepping up this season if the current under-18s group need reinforcements.
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