Norwich City Under-21s travel to Portsmouth this weekend for Saturday’s Leasing.com Trophy game at Fratton Park (12.30pm KO).
Ahead of the game, canaries.co.uk caught up with U21s captain Akin Famewo to discuss defeat in Oxford, wearing the armband, and looking ahead to Portsmouth.
canaries.co.uk: What were your thoughts after the 2-1 defeat to Oxford United a couple of weeks ago?
AF: It was a good game. We played well and it was a good challenge. We were disappointed not to come away with something more or at least take the game to penalties. Other than that, we did ourselves proud and competed well. At the moment, we’re in good spirits and are all looking forward to the next game.
canaries.co.uk: There was obviously a bit of an age difference between our Under-21s and Oxford United’s first team, but it didn’t look like it on the pitch.
AF: No, and we showed that we were confident in the way we wanted to play. We trusted in that and put it all together.
canaries.co.uk: Do you feel you showed leadership wearing the armband?
AF: Yeah, a couple of boys maybe needed a bit of geeing up before the game, but we were all excited and ready to go and to face the challenge. The good thing with this age group is that everyone is talking to each other and trying to rile each other up.
canaries.co.uk: What are your thoughts ahead of Portsmouth on Saturday then?
AF: Very positive. The boys are training well, and we feel like this is going to be another good challenge. We’re the underdogs again so we’ve got nothing to lose. That takes all the pressure off players who might feel it. That gives us a good platform to go and have a good challenge.
canaries.co.uk: The atmosphere should be pretty good, considering it’s a Saturday afternoon at Fratton Park.
AF: Definitely, yeah. It’s a great stadium to play at, and hopefully there will be a big audience. That will be a good experience and learning curve for a lot of us.
canaries.co.uk: Following that game, we have a quick turnaround to the opposite end of the country!
AF: Yeah, it’s something like five hours from Norwich to Newcastle for our PL2 game on Monday, but we’re taking one game at a time and are ready for each one.