Barry Lewtas has explained his satisfaction with the way his new-look Liverpool U18s have started 2019-20.

Aside from regulars Leighton Clarkson and Jake Cain, the majority of Lewtas' FA Youth Cup-winning side from last season have now moved up to U23 level.

And yet, with five wins from their opening seven games, the Reds sit just two points behind Manchester City in the U18 Premier League North table.

Newcastle United visit the Academy on Saturday, in a game you can watch live on LFCTV GO from 1pm BST, and Lewtas is hoping his team can continue where they left off before the international break after hitting Everton for six in the mini-derby.

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Read our pre-match interview with the U18s boss below…

On the 6-1 win over Everton in the mini-derby…

Like any derby game, the boys were looking forward to it all week and the training was really good. It was a strange game in that we were under pressure early on and we were only nearly clicking. We made a few mistakes but we were up against a good side. In the second half we did click and we were quite ruthless in the end. To balance it up, our goalkeeper made a couple of really good saves. When you have such a good performance it's good that all of the XI are involved. We got into their penalty area numerous times and their goalkeeper made a couple of good saves as well. I thought there was a real ruthless streak about us in the second half and I did feel that the boys were pushing for more goals. It's a good trait for us to have.

LFCTV GO: Watch the mini-derby highlights

On the work put in by strikers Fidel O'Rourke and Layton Stewart helping the team defend from the front…

It was outstanding in terms of how we set up and we pressed from organised positions. They are intelligent boys but what is kind of more impressive this year is from open play, in terms of dealing with situations, making decisions, pressing in terms of tracking back. That was a real plus for us.

On the assured displays so far from 16-year-old Polish stopper Jakub Ojrzynski…

He has settled in really well. It's always difficult when you move to any new country, a different changing room and environment. His English is really coming on and he communicates really well with the team, so that has been a real plus and it will only get better. He is playing games and getting better week to week, he is getting more familiar with how we want to play. With Taff [U18s goalkeeping coach Neil Edwards] working him hard every day, Kuba's performances will improve.

On his nickname, 'Kuba'…

I believe it's a shortened version of Jakub back in Poland so we all call him Kuba. It's easier to say as well!

On the big gloves to fill for Ojrzynski and Ben Winterbottom in the absence of injured stopper Vitezslav Jaros…

It's been a real shame for Veet this season because a large number of our FA Youth Cup squad have been able to carry on that form with the U23s. Unfortunately for Veet, he picked up an injury in pre-season. He was a big part of what we did last season in terms of his ability as a goalkeeper and making saves, which is obviously the main job. The way he played out for us, his passing and the way he allowed us to start the attacks, he was a really important player for us. I'm sure he will be back soon and be ready to go.

On taking a young U18s group to Lilleshall during the international break to face Northern Ireland U19s…

We have a normal-sized squad and on a Saturday you can only pick a certain amount of players. I've mentioned numerous times, the boys train ever so hard. The level of training and what they do day in and day out is at a really good level. We try to make sure we try to get games in every week for every player. When the time comes that means they are also ready because they are match ready from playing games. It was a good experience to go up to Lilleshall and play Northern Ireland U19s and we managed to get a win. We had some young boys playing for us so it was a really pleasing afternoon.

On a good start to the season for the U18 group despite some tough fixtures against the likes of Everton, Manchester United and Manchester City…

We mentioned that to the boys last Friday when we had a meeting just about the level of games we have had. There aren't many easy games at this level but we started the season with a new group and I think they have settled in well. We all agree we have got lots to still work upon and improve upon and we are working hard day in and day out to do that. In terms of the start the lads have given us, I think they have been really good value. Certainly, I think the supporters who come down to Kirkby to watch them would certainly vouch for that. We have scored plenty of goals and played some really good stuff. It's only a start but I'm really proud with what they have done so far.

On Saturday's home meeting with Newcastle United…

It should be a really interesting game. We had two contrasting games against them last season. The home game here, when we won 4-1, was one of our best performances. We played them on the back pitch and I thought we were excellent. Away from home we got a draw and it was a really tough game. They have got some good players, they are well organised and like to play an attacking brand of football themselves so we should be in for another really good game. Newcastle United will be on a high at the minute and obviously they have had a lot of attention with a few of their young boys getting into their first team, which is great for their academy. That will serve as motivation for their players but we are really excited for Saturday. We will be prepared in the right way and looking to put on another good performance. It's important to build on what we did against Everton. As good as we were in the second half against Everton, we can't just rest on that one game as it would be a real shame if we didn't turn up on Saturday.

On Tom Hill celebrating his U23s debut with a goal against Wigan Athletic…

He's got a knack of that, getting into the box and scoring goals. That's what it's about [progressing to the U23s]. We want to play good football and what comes with that is hopefully winning games but first and foremost the players are working hard every day to improve. Our job is to try to get as many boys into the U23s squad as possible. Although I was close to those boys last season, my job now is to put them boys under more pressure and try to get as many boys as we can ready to jump up to that next level, which is U23s football.

Adam Lewis in action for Liverpool U23s

Adam Lewis injury update