Norwich City Under-21s head South to play Crawley for the final game of the group stages in the Leasing.com Trophy this Tuesday (7:45pm KO).
Norwich need a win if they have any chance of progressing to the next round of the tournament, with both Crawley and the Canaries sitting on zero points in Southern Group B.
Crawley have had a fairly average run of results in the recent weeks, with one win, one loss and four draws in the past six games. Their five-game undefeated run was ended by Walsall in League Two last Saturday, who beat the West Sussex side 3-2.
The hosts also have a busy calendar to keep in mind, with games in League Two, the Carabao Cup and the Leasing.com Trophy to worry about. For this reason, the young Canaries may be in the best position possible to steal a win and keep their progression hopes alive.
However, a busy schedule clearly hasn’t bothered Crawley before. The Red Devils have scored in each of their past six fixtures, even beating City’s first team to progress in the Carabao Cup back in August.
Playing the Norwich way
It’s not going to be an easy game for City, an academy side playing a senior side means they go into this game the underdogs. The pressure is built even more by the fact that anything but a win sees the U21s out of the competition. But David Wright believes all the team need to do is focus on is their performance, not the outcome.
“It’s a major competition, in big stadiums, up against seasoned players part of good teams. Under that kind of pressure, can they perform? I think it’s been really positive, both Oxford and Portsmouth are very good teams, but we’ve been brave enough to play our way in possession. Obviously, Crawley is going to be another test, so we need to continue that and be brave enough. Whatever state the game is in, we need to play our way.”
“They’ve shown good performances against Oxford and Portsmouth. They haven’t been overawed by the occasion. They’ve been brave enough to play. We’ve just been caught out by our little mistakes, which seasoned players pounce on straightaway. Which might not happen so much in Premier League 2, but against professionals, it does. I just want us to be comfortable enough to play our way and make sure we express ourselves in and out of possession. If we do that, I’m sure the performance will be good.”
Read Wright's full interview ahead of Crawley here: