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14 February 2015

Canaries youngsters continue good run of form

NORWICH City Under-18s made it successive wins with an impressive 2-1 victory over a strong Southampton side at Colney Training Centre on Saturday.

The visitors had taken an early lead through Olufela Olomola with five minutes played, but a Todd Cantwell penalty seven minutes before the break following a foul on Louis McIntosh took them into half-time level.

After digging deep during the second period to keep their opponents at bay despite Josh Sims' best efforts, City then clinched all three points with eight minutes remaining when substitute Devonte Aransibia struck with a tidy finish.

The Canaries' success was made all the more notable given Saints' squad included three players who represented their Under-21s team during the recent Premier League Cup win over Norwich at St Mary's.

A youthful City outfit have now won successive matches in the Barclays Under-18s Premier League, having beaten Leicester City by the same scoreline two weeks ago.

Jerry Gill's side are ending the regular season strongly with seven points from their last four games, and the academy coach told "It shows we can go up against the best, and get a performance.

"We want the wins along the way, but it will never come at the cost of how we play. We've got to make sure of that, first and foremost, and if wins come along then it's great.

"They shouldn't fear anyone; the Chelsea game was a great performance as well, we just couldn't sustain it. It's some really exciting times, and they're learning really well now."

City's Under-18s manager also praised the collective effort, commenting: "The sports science department have been working really hard this week on some screening.

"Dominic Walsh and Damien Bowyer have been fantastic in carrying out the appropriate screening tests for the players, and it's allowed us to take that into our training programme for the week. We've rolled out the new coaching philosophy in recent weeks, and the boys have taken it on board.

"We're very careful in planning the individual programmes for each player, and everyone will benefit from that. That's what the team do really well here, and I think it's excellent in the Under-18s department.

"It's a huge amount of work. We use the match analysis and sports science departments in the right way, and it's about everyone buying into what we want to do."

The Canaries travel to West Ham United this weekend, with their postponed game against West Bromwich Albion now set to take place on Saturday, 7 March.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 2-1 Southampton

NORWICH CITY: Beauchamp (GK); Ramsay, Boateng, Pollock, Ellesley, Syme, Black, Sambu (Aransibia, 68), Couzens, Cantwell (c), McIntosh (Kamal, 90).
Under-21s vs Manchester City, Wednesday February 18, 7pm


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