Following Norwich City Under-23s 1-0 win over Reading in the Premier League 2 Division 2 on Monday evening, Head Coach David Wright was impressed by the improvement, saying the players should be pleased with their performance.
“We’ve had a lot of time to do a lot of work, after not having a game for three weeks. We’ve done a lot of work on our shape and our discipline within that shape, then understanding when to press, when not to press, and how to press, not as individuals, but as a unit and a team.
“I think today you can see the improvement the boys have made in that period, which is pleasing for the coaching staff, and should be really pleasing for them.
“They stayed really disciplined in that shape, I felt there was probably a 20-minute period in that second-half where we couldn’t quite get out, but again I feel that was self-inflicted. We were dropping deeper then kept giving the ball away, which invited the pressure.
“Apart from that, I thought the discipline in the shape is what actually got the boys the winner in the end, because they understood where the press was, they showed themselves into it, the ‘keeper made a misplaced pass, we jumped on it and we punished them.
“Credit to the boys, they’ve worked their socks off for it, and they got their reward tonight.”
There were a few changes to the U23s squad on Monday, including a new face and a familiar one. These were U18s ‘keeper Joe Rose, who made his U23s debut, and Akin Famewo, who captained the side before transitioning to train with the first-team. Speaking on how the two performed, David Wright was more than happy with their contributions.
“Both played well, it’s Joe’s first start for the Under-23s, so it’s great for him. I think it’s the first time in a long time that a scholar has played for the Under-23s, so it shows that if we think they’re ready, we’ll put them in to play.
“Akin is the captain of the side, he’s moved up and been training with the first-team, but he comes back down he slots straight back into the team. From this morning when he turned up, he started leading the group straight from that moment.
“I’m really pleased with both of them, as I am the whole team.”
Famewo recently signed a new contract with the club, and began training with the first-team, a situation Adam Idah found himself in just a few months back. When asked if Idah could be a role model on how to adjust to a first-team lifestyle, Wright said it was all down to Daniel Farke picking up players when they’re ready.
“I think it’s all credit to the boss. The boss looks at our players, and soon as he decides he thinks they’re ready, he’s not frightened to move them up and move them into the squad, as you know you look at Ben [Godfrey], Max [Aarons], Jamal [Lewis] and Todd [Cantwell], they’ve gone on and they’re doing great for the first-team now.
“I think it shows the rest of the players that the manager has faith in the youth, and if they work hard enough there is opportunity for them to work with the first-team.”