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DMITRI HALAJKO: DELIGHTED TO PROGRESS

12 January 2017

City youngsters book place in European quarter-final

DMITRI Halajko pointed to another notable step in the development of his Norwich City Under-23s squad after they progressed in the Premier League International Cup on Thursday evening.

A determined 4-3 victory over Aston Villa ensured the young Canaries topped their group with a maximum haul of nine points, ultimately taking them through to the competition's knockout stages at a canter.

"It's the first time we've made the quarter-finals so it's a big achievement," Halajko told reporters after the game.

"The squad should be pleased because it's not an easy thing to do. You're playing against some top teams from Europe, as well as top teams from England.

"With the likes of Porto, Athletic Bilbao and Manchester United, we're in really good company. It's certainly an achievement for the Academy."

City had to come from behind three times to emerge as eventual winners on the night, with Diallang Jaiyesimi netting superbly to provide the decisive strike of a seven-goal thriller.

"At half-time the result was in doubt as we hadn't been at our best and we knew we had to put that right," Halajko added.

"We went on to do that in the second half and did enough to win. The objective at the start of the night was to get through and we've done that.

"Our finishing was at a good level, and we were dangerous when we got the ball into the final-third. We always looked as if we had goals in us. 

"Diallang scores all kinds of goals in training so he's got a real array of finishing. That came through for us at a crucial stage."



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