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Academy News

Match Preview: Norwich City Under-18s v Arsenal

12 February 2020

The Under-18s are back in league action as they face Arsenal at the Lotus Training Centre on Tuesday (1pm kick-off).

The Canaries are looking to continue their chase of the Gunners, who sit just four points ahead. A win over the side would put City in a prime position to overtake in the table, just a single point behind.

Bouncing back from two defeats, the young Canaries then showed a huge amount of character to take a draw against Tottenham in their previous game. Spurs went 1-0 just minutes before the full-time whistle, but a late free-kick picked up by Zach Dronfield salvaged the score, seeing the sides share the points.

The draw last week means the Canaries have drawn three and lost two of their last five games.

The sides last met back in March of the 2018-19 season, with the game ending 6-2 in Arsenal’s favour, a result City will be desperate to avoid happening once more.

Arsenal currently sit ninth in the league, just two points behind Reading, meaning should the Canaries overtake the Gunners, their next target will not be far away.

The north London side are on fine form, winning three and losing two of their last five games, most recently beating fourth place Brighton 4-3.  

Returning from four months of injury, U18s right-back Ethen Vaughan is excited for the game, saying he thinks the team is looking strong enough to take the win.

“I’m feeling good for tomorrow, the team looks strong through the weeks of training. It’s been a tough week, but the team are looking really strong.

"I don’t think any players are phased by the opponent; they’ve put in some good performances over the last couple of games.

"We’re going into this with a great mindset, so I think we’ve got this and hopefully get the win.”

Despite Arsenal's position, and how close the Canaries are to reaching them, Vaughan insists the side are just focusing on their own development, letting the wins come to them instead of worrying about results.

“At the minute we’re just about playing. We obviously had a rough start to the season, so we’re just focusing on that development, working on key areas for us and what the manager wants.

"I don’t think it’s about winning, but instead doing the right things and developing as a team and individuals.”

After his four-month absence from the field, Vaughan is looking forward to coming back and is hoping to make his contribution to the game.

“I’m definitely excited to be back. The last four months have been a struggle to not play, seeing the lads do well and seeing more smiles on their faces.

"I’ve been working hard in the gym and of course the physios have helped me so much. I’m feeling confident to get back but there’s also that obvious element of nerves.”

“I think I’ll made a good contribution. I want to come back in the team and give the outlet of an engine. I like to support the attack and win my one-on-ones; I feel like I can really bring something to the team and hopefully help in getting the win.”

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