Matt Gill believes the first U23s match of the season at Carrow Road provides his players with a great opportunity to show what they’re all about.
The youngsters have not started the season as they would have liked, with back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Hove Albion and Middlesbrough in Premier League 2, but Gill says he is pleased to have lots of areas to improve on.
“We had two games in a week and it was a good chance to get stuck into the season,” said Gill. “Obviously a 4-0 defeat [against Boro] is not what we want. There was some very naïve defending from the team that made it easy for Boro to score.
“What I would say is the response was excellent, the lads were very brave to play the way we want to play in the second half. On another day we could have scored a couple of goals.
“I’ll always look on the positive side. I think we need to be a bit less naïve and a bit more streetwise in the way we go about our defending and when we haven’t got the ball.
“They’re a young group and we’re still on the path we want to be on. Obviously it’d be nice to have a couple of good results but it’s a good challenge to have early on in the season to pick yourselves up and show everyone what can you do.”
The Canaries take on Stoke City under the lights at Carrow Road on Friday (7pm kick-off) and they are hoping to enter the upcoming international break with a much-needed victory.
“It’s a fantastic thing to look forward to and it’s also a good chance to put those two defeats behind us,” Gill added. “The boys are looking forward to playing at Carrow Road under the lights.
“I don’t want to call it an occasion because the lads need to get used to playing at Carrow Road if they want to play in our first team.
“The message we’ve been giving them this week is about making the right decisions more than making wrong decisions. Obviously they’re young and they will make mistakes but that’s what the coaches are here for, to help them learn to make the right ones.”
Gill also urged as many supporters to come down to Carrow Road on Friday, saying: “The first team are away on Saturday so it will be great opportunity for some fans to come down. We all really appreciate their support.”
“It’s a great chance for the lads to impress our home supporters and hopefully they can do that.”
Tickets for Friday's Premier League 2 match between Norwich City and Stoke City at Carrow Road are FREE.
Claim your ticket from either the Carrow Road ticket office or the club stores in Chapelfield and Castle Mall.