As Liverpool U18s prepare to bring the curtain down on a highly successful 2018-19 campaign, boss Barry Lewtas has spoken of his pride at the way his team have conducted themselves on and off the pitch this season.

After winning the FA Youth Cup by beating Manchester City last week, the young Reds host Middlesbrough at the Kirkby Academy on Saturday in their final competitive outing before the summer break.

The chances of Lewtas’ side completing a domestic double by winning the U18s Premier League North title are slim.

Leaders Derby County have completed their fixtures and are three points clear of the Reds, with the Rams possesing a double-digit superior goal difference.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 12.30pm BST and you can watch the game live on LFCTV GO.

Read on for Lewtas’ thoughts on the 2018-19 season and the final encounter of the season against Middlesbrough…

On the midweek win at Manchester City to complete two wins in the space of a week over the blue half of Manchester…

It was certainly tough. We knew they would make changes [from the FA Youth Cup final] and we would as well, but when you play against them, they have a real strong identity on how they want to play. It was a real challenge but it was a good game and I thought we did well. We were the ones who created the clearer-cut opportunities but it was certainly a close game and they were always in the game.

LFCTV GO: Watch the City highlights

On Jack Bearne getting his chance and netting the winner against City…

Jack played very well and of the four goals he has scored this season, I think all of them have been winners! I was really pleased with him. I thought he gave us the energy we needed. I know what energy Jack can give this team and I thought he led the line ever so well.

On the great character and resilience shown by his side after winning the FA Youth Cup final…

We took the lads out for a meal the day after the final. I am very proud of their achievement but we have still got the league to compete for and games to try and win, so I thought the boys were very professional in that way this week.

On Saturday’s final game of the season against Middlesbrough and needing to overturn a deficit of plus 10 to win the league…

It’s a real fluke chance and it’s a lot of goals [we need]. The pleasing thing is we have taken it to the last game of the season. We have the chance to match the points total of the team who, being realistic, will win it. We’ve just got to turn up exactly like we did against City, we have to perform and just see what happens. We are certainly not arrogant and certainly won’t be disrespectful to Middlesbrough. They will be really tough opponents. They were when we beat them 6-5 earlier this season. We will need to be at our best just to win the game, so that’s what we will be concentrating on.

On his final reflections of the 2018-19 campaign…

I probably need a little bit of time to sit down myself and reflect. First and foremost, you look at it from an individual point of view and boys who have pushed on. The improvements some of the boys have made will hopefully bode well [when they move up] for the U23s next season. I think the influence of some of the younger ones over the course of the season – the 17-year-olds like Jake Cain, Leighton Clarkson and Bearne – have done really well. It has been a really enjoyable season for both players and staff and it has been a season where hopefully we can look back on in a couple of years with a few players who are progressing through.

Source link – https://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/academy/348528-barry-lewtas-reflects-on-u18s-season