DARREN Huckerby praised those who represented Norwich City Under-18s on Saturday, despite the side eventually going down 5-2 to Brighton & Hove Albion at Colney Training Centre.
The Canaries fielded a heavily rotated squad for their Barclays Under-18s Premier League Final Stage opener, with one eye on Monday's FA Youth Cup quarter-final
at Manchester City.
Having led City's young charges for the game, Huckerby said: "We had a mix and match squad, with a number of Under-15s involved.
"By contrast Brighton brought their strongest side, and the game was pretty 50-50 during the first half. We were pleased with that, but ultimately Brighton's experience showed after half-time.
"The last 15 minutes or so were tough for us. We expected that though so overall it was a useful experience for the players involved."
With two games in quick succession, Huckerby stepped into the dug-out, enabling regular manager Graeme Murty to prepare a side for Monday night's game.
"We wanted to ensure the strongest squad possible was available for Manchester City," Huckerby explained.
"A lot of those who played on Saturday have another two years before they’re at this level regularly. That’s a real positive, so this is something for them to learn from.
"Providing opportunities like this will only benefit them in the future."
: Beauchamp; O'Donnell, Catton, Payne, Ellesley, Wallis (c), Jaiyesimi, Sambu, Oddy (Spyrou 55), Kamal, Da Costa. Subs not used
: Hale-Brown (GK), Ekumah.