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DMITRI HALAJKO: CITY'S YOUNGSTERS MATURING WELL

22 November 2016

Development Squad boss on the continuing progress of his squad

NORWICH City Under-23s manager Dmitri Halajko praised the growing maturity of his side after they collected an excellent 2-1 win as Aston Villa in the Premier League 2 on Monday night.

Coming up against a team featuring a number of players with senior experience, City's youngsters rose to the challenge as goals from Glenn Middleton and Carlton Morris secured victory.

Halajko credits some tough experiences from the past year as key to collective development, and told canaries.co.uk: "They're not fazed by much anymore, having played in big games at big stadiums.

"In the last few months they've won at White Hart Lane, Goodison Park and Villa Park. Any team in world football would be happy to win at those three grounds, and they feel comfortable in those environments now.

"We always had faith that as they gained more experience they would get the rewards for all the hard work they put in. It's a tight-knit group who work hard for each other every day.

"There's a togetherness and familiarity about how each other plays. That team spirit and closeness as a unit is working really well, which shows their maturity."

City's Development Squad also have a much-increased playing schedule this campaign, with revised formats for the Checkatrade Trophy and Premier League Cup working to their advantage.

"By the end of next week, we'll have already played the amount of games we did in the whole of last season," Halajko explained.

"Before we even hit December, we will have matched a season's worth of football and that's great. The more games we play, the more experiences we get and that allows for more development.

"Ultimately, that's what we want. We want as many opportunities for our lads to develop as possible.

"Playing games at the top level are the best way of doing that."



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