Good numbers expected for U21s Premier League game at Carrow RoadNORWICH City’s Under-21s will draw plenty of benefits from playing in front of a sizeable Carrow Road crowd when they take on Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night, says Academy Manager Gregg Broughton.
The Canaries welcome the north Londoners for their Barclays Under-21 Premier League meeting (7.45pm), and a large home support is expected with the Club offering free entry to all fans.
“It will make a big difference to the players. More importantly, it makes it a realistic experience for them,” Broughton told canaries.co.uk ahead of the match.
“If we get near the crowd we’re hoping for on Tuesday, it will be higher than most attendances in League One and League Two. That means it will be a very realistic experience.
“With it being the first game of the season at Carrow Road, and the size of the crowd, it will put a different type of pressure on the boys.”
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City are likely to utilise the ruling that allows competing teams to field three over-age outfield players, although a combination of development squad and Under-18s youngsters will form the large majority of the group.
While attracting plenty of support at the ground, the game will also be broadcast live internationally on BT Sport, with the Canaries aiming for their second league win of the campaign to bounce back from the 2-0 reverse to Southampton at the end of September.
“We all left that game slightly disappointed with the outcome, both in terms of the performance and the result,” added Broughton.
“Even though it was an honest, hard-working performance from us, we struggled to create chances. Southampton did too, it was a game of few chances but because we had so much success in the home game against Leicester leading into that, we had high expectations.
“I think because this is the first game at Carrow Road, the expectations will be equally high. I’m expecting a very open game, a very attacking game with lots of really good football. Hopefully we’ll have enough edge to score the goals necessary to win the game.
“The players know they will have all their family and friends who aren’t in the stadium watching back at home as well so that will put pressure on them.”
On top of the football, a selection of first-team players will be on hand to sign autographs in the Jarrold Stand concourse between 6-7pm, one of a number of Club initiatives on the night.
“It’s a huge effort from everybody. I think it’s crossed every single department here at the football club,” commented Broughton, who took over the role of Academy Manager from Ricky Martin in the summer.
“It’s been a joint effort with several meetings held at Carrow Road in terms of preparation, ranging from marketing to ticketing to media to catering. Every single area has been fully involved in that process.”
Broughton confirmed that Under-21s coach Dale Brooks is unwell and that his Under-18s counterpart Jerry Gill will be in charge of the team on the night.
“Jerry had the exposure to that team at the end of last season and managed to get them over the line when Mark Robson had moved across to the first team,” he said.
“He knows the group very well and there will also be some of his Under-18 players involved in the game too.”