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Academy News

Match preview: Cheltenham Town v Norwich City Under-21s

9 November 2020

Norwich City Under-21s are guaranteed progression into the knockout stages of the Papa John’s Trophy (formerly the EFL Trophy) going into their last group stage game of the competition against Cheltenham Town on Tuesday (6pm KO).

Having taken victories over Plymouth Argyle and Newport County, City are competing with Cheltenham for the top-spot finish in Southern Group F of the competition.

The young City side's last outing in the trophy was a memorable one as they beat Newport 5-0 at Rodney Parade thanks to a hat-trick from Tyrese Omotoye and goals from Matthew Dennis and Josh Giurgi.

The Canaries took a 1-0 lead into the second half after finding the opener early on, before putting the remaining four past the Exiles in the last 45 minutes.

It's not just the Papa John's Trophy where the City side are finding good performances. In Premier League 2, Wright's side are in third-place with 12 points, one point behind joint-top Leeds and Middlesbrough.

Cheltenham have enjoyed mostly positive form in recent weeks, taking a 3-1 win in their last match against South Shields in the FA Cup first round. Michael Duff’s side sit sixth in League Two with 19 points too, making themselves early contenders for the play-offs to League One.

Under-21s coach David Wright says his young side are looking forward to the task at hand against the League Two Robins, emphasising the importance of playing against seasoned professional players.

“It’s great for the players to look forward to a game like this against senior pros, experienced pros.

“They’ve had a really strong start to the season, so it’s going to be a really difficult game, but the boys have done really well in the trophy and we’ve prepared well to produce a performance tomorrow night.

“It gives us another opportunity to play against senior opponents, the more we can expose the players to that the better because they get to see where they’re at in their development journey and we can have a look at that as well.

“The more opportunity they get to play on nights like this, under the floodlights against lads who have played hundreds of league games, it just brings that first-team football slightly closer.”

Meanwhile, Under-23s striker Tyrese Omotoye says the U21s team have bundles of confidence going into the game, saying the team need to show the same mentality as they did against both Plymouth and Newport to compete.

“We’re really confident, we’ve already produced two really good performances, we’re just looking to win the group.

“We know we’re through to the next round, but we need to show the same resilience as we did in the first two games.”

“My own confidence is through the roof, so I’m just looking to do the same regardless of what happens, but I’ll try give a good outing tomorrow.”

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