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5 March 2016

Young striker Kieran Higgs returns in Magpies draw

GRAEME Murty says Norwich City's Under-18s must display the attitude to seize every chance presented to them following Saturday's 1-1 draw at Newcastle United.

City named a rotated squad from the side which faced Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup quarter-final five days earlier, making seven changes to their starting eleven.

"Some players might view it as an opportunity missed," Murty candidly told when assessing the Barclays Under-18s Premier League contest.

"When things aren't going particularly well we look for players to display leadership. That's what we always target; before games, during games and in the training sessions afterwards.

"It's important we have players with that moral fibre who stand up when times are tough, and every day is an opportunity to demonstrate that. As coaches, we can then see where players need support.

"If you can still have high standards and work hard even if things aren't necessarily going right, then we know we have someone worth working with despite them struggling in the short-term."

One positive Murty was keen to focus on was the return to action for City's Kieran Higgs after 16 months out, with the forward winning the penalty which led to George Couzens scoring the visitors' equaliser. 

"Everyone was thrilled to see Kieran come back after such a long time out injured," said the 41-year-old coach. 

"He added energy and intensity to the group, and it's fitting the role he played in getting the team level. We need to give him a real pat on the back because he's worked hard on a day-to-day basis.

"Kieran has pushed himself, and this is a massive reward for that effort. When he came off at the end of the game he got a round of applause as the players really appreciate what he's put in.

"Hopefully this is just a stepping-stone for bigger and better things for him. He's here to maximise every moment; that's the advice I would give any young footballer." 

NORWICH CITY: Beauchamp; Ramsay, Syme, Pollock, Wallis, Ellesley, Aransibia, Kamal (Sambu, 75), Couzens, McIntosh (Jaiyesimi, 60), Da Costa (Higgs, 70). Subs not used: Hale-Brown (GK).

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