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14 November 2015

Youngsters fall to late Villa defeat

NORWICH City Under-18s must always maintain a 'base-level' when they represent the Club, according to manager Graeme Murty. 

That came after the Canaries were beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa in the Barclays Under-18s Premier League at Colney Training Centre on Saturday.

Midfielder Harley Black had put the hosts in front by rounding off an excellent team move shortly after the interval, only for Villa to level through Moustafa Zeidan on the hour-mark.

The visitors stole victory in the final minutes when Rushian Hepburn-Murphy struck, and Murty told "It's a difficult game to reflect on without being quite emotive.

"As proud as I was of the team last weekend, I'm equally disappointed now. Our quality, our intensity and our effort were not good enough.

"Aston Villa weren't better than us, they just had more desire to win. For aspiring professional athletes that's something which should really stick with you.

"Once we reflect on what more we could have done as staff, it's the players who cross the white line. They have to bring certain attributes to the game, and I don't think enough of them did that."

Offering a frank assessment of his team's performance against the Villains, Murty added: "There are attributes required to make it in any profession, and I'll ask the players how many of those they felt they delivered.

"If we take their talent or skill away, what are they going to base a career on? They need to understand the requirements to perform at this level, because we were out-worked, which isn't acceptable.

"The attributes you have as a gifted footballer, which are the reason you walked in through the door of this Academy, are hard to display without a standard of work-ethic. There has to be a base-level.

"I will accept anyone having a bad day. That happens. What can't happen is when those days come, the foundations of a professional life and of a professional career disappearing.

"Hard work is the first thing on the sheet for this Club's first team manager, as it is everywhere. If you don't demonstrate that then you won't get opportunities."

NORWICH CITY: Oxborough; Syme, Odusina, Wallis, Boateng (Pollock, 62); Da Costa (Fleming, 85), Sambu, Black (c) (Kamal, 85), Aransibia; McIntosh; Couzens. Subs not used: Hale-Brown (GK), Payne. 

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