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Sunderland U23 coach Stockdale delighted with Cup win over Notts County

Sunderland U23 coach Robbie Stockdale was delighted with their Checkatrade Trophy win over Notts County.

The Black Cats were trailing 1-0 until the 84th minute and heading out of the Checkatrade Trophy until a late rally saw Sunderland through.

The Under-23 side – boosted by five first-teamers including Seb Larsson and Vito Mannone – levelled through sub Josh Maja before a 90th-minute Haydn Hollis own goal sealed victory in the final group game.

“I think we deserved to go through on the night," said Stockdale to the Sunderland Echo.

“They were a constant threat with Alan Smith up top, and our two young centre-backs were great against someone who's strong and physical.

“That's something that you can't replicate in training and development squad games, so, from our point of view, it's a fantastic experience.

“It felt a bit like a knockout game. I know we could have gone through with the draw.

“But when you're 1-0 down with 10 minutes to go, or whatever it was, it feels like a knockout and the players were experienced enough to do what they needed to do.

“They got over the line in the end. I don't really doubt the character of the players in the academy. Its one thing we instill in the players, you just keep going and I think you see that from all of the teams I've had.

“It's not so much what we put into them, that's the players job.

“But, ultimately, at 1-0 if we go 2-0 down, that's really difficult to claw back. We rode our luck, Vito [Mannone] made a couple of important saves for us and ultimately two bits of quality win us the game."

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Paul Vegas

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