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The under-23s are at the Stadium of Light this Monday for a league game against Sunderland but before that the under-18s face the same opposition today at Gawthorpe as we look to continue the improvement over the last few weeks.

Having beaten Stoke at the beginning of November, we didn’t win another league game until three weeks ago but all of the league games between those dates came against Manchester United, against whom we got a draw, and the three teams in the top three places in the table.

That win at Stoke had seen us come from behind to win 3-1 and we repeated that when Joe Bauress scored twice to turn things round before Sean Etaluku added a third late in the game. A week later, goals from Michael Mellon and Tremaine Eastmond gave us a 2-0 home win against Newcastle and last week we made it three out of three with Will Couch (pictured) scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough.

As it stands, we currently sit eight in the table with 22 points from our 17 games but that’s just a point more than ninth place Wolves but also only three points less than Derby who are currently fourth having played two games more.

A win today would take us up a minimum of two places. We’d go above both Everton and Middlesbrough who drew 1-1 yesterday. A defeat, however, would guarantee a drop with Sunderland, right now behind us on goal different and having played two games less.

Sunderland are in decent form but were beaten last time out at Blackburn, who are currently third. That’s their only defeat in 2022 which kicked off with an astonishing 7-5 win against Leeds.

Kick off today at Gawthorpe is 1 p.m.

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