With domestic football making its return after the international break, Norwich City Under-18s host Brighton & Hove Albion at the Lotus Training Centre on Saturday afternoon (1pm KO).
The Canaries are eager to break their losing run of four upon their return from the break, with not much better of a challenging team to overcome.
Their record so far this season gives the Canaries six points from seven games, taking two wins and five losses. The six-point tally sees the Canaries a further six behind seventh-placed Arsenal, meaning a win is needed if they want to give chase to the Gunners in climbing the table.
The young Brighton side are on extremely strong form of their own, sitting in fifth-place with 14 points from eight games, including one massive 7-1 win over Leicester City at the end of October.
The last outing between the Canaries and the Seagulls was a tense one, the sides settling for a 1-1 draw at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre.
An early third-minute goal from Jack Spong gave the home side an early lead, before a leveller in the 36th minute courtesy of Jon Rowe gave City a point, despite dangerous late efforts from both teams.
Under-18s striker Oscar Thorn believes the side are ready for the challenge in taking on Brighton, saying the team feel they’ve spotted weaknesses to exploit on the pitch.
“We’ve gone over analysis of Brighton for how they’ve played this season and picked up on how we can hurt them.
“We’ve realised that and put it to practice in training, so I think we’re ready to put it into play during the match tomorrow.”
Despite the unfortunate run of results in recent weeks, the young forward made it clear that the team don’t let negative scores get in the way of keeping their positive outlook for the season.
“I think it starts from training together and even in the changing rooms, the mood is always high with the boys.
“All around the training ground we try to keep the mood high. After a loss, obviously we get down a bit, but I think we assess what happened and pick ourselves up and get ready for the next game.
Finally, asked about his experience settling in with the U18s at the start of the season, Thorn says it was an early struggle to adapt, but the goals and assists so far have pushed him on to keep improving.
“When I first joined in the pre-season, it really hit me how hard it was to train everyday, but I think I made a good start to the season with my goal against West Brom.
“I’ve been involved in a couple more goals, like scoring another goal against Chelsea, so I just need to keep improving on my weaknesses and carry on scoring.”