The youth team return to action on Saturday morning as they go to Hartlepool United to hopefully start a strong Youth Alliance Cup run.
The first three matches of the season have shown bright spots but deliver three losses, though a 5-4 friendly victory at Blackburn Rovers this week has further hinted at the youth side's potential.
Academy manager Mark Smith is now looking to build on that win: "It's been a difficult start to the season, but I thought on Tuesday in the game against Blackburn we showed a bit more of what we're about. It was by no means perfect and we made some sloppy errors but it was a little bit closer to what I want to see in terms of commitment and at times ability.
"Now the job is to carry these positives forward to this weekend and to make sure we do the right things, I feel that if we do that we'll have every chance of beating Hartlepool.
"With it being a cup game there is the chance that, like on Tuesday, the weight's off the shoulders a little bit and that should see the lads a bit more comfortable and providing we get a good start we'll be in good shape."
Curtis Morrison remains out with an injury that will take a further six weeks to recover from, while striker Ricky German and Tom Jarrald are also unlikely to feature, the two of them carrying minor knocks.
The game will take place Blackhall Colliery, Eleventh Street (postcode: TS27 4LX), just to the north of Hartlepool.