Making the return after the international break, Norwich City Under-23s are back in action as they host Stoke City at the Lotus Training Centre on Friday (7pm KO).
With the majority of the squad having last played in the 5-0 win over Newport County in the EFL Trophy, David Wright’s Under-23s will be looking to continue that momentum into the Premier League 2 clash.
The U23s sit top of the table after four games in the league, Wolverhampton Wanderers just two points behind with a game in hand. Regardless, a win over the Potters would potentially consolidate that top spot for the Canaries, seeing them take 12 points from a possible 15.
Its been over a year since the City side last faced Stoke, taking a 2-0 loss in their most recent encounter with the Potters back in September 2019.
Two goals within ten minutes of each other in the second-half from Gabriel Kyeremateng and Ahogrenashinme Kigbu saw the Canaries clean sheet spoiled, the side unable to make a comeback in the last 20 minutes of the game.
Stoke haven’t found their best form just yet at this stage of the campaign, taking three points from nine in their first three fixtures of the season. A 4-0 win over Leeds gave them the perfect start, but subsequent 2-0 and 3-0 losses to Middlesbrough and Wolves respectively gives the side a -1 goal difference so far.
U23s midfielder Zach Dronfield believes the team are excited for the game back after the international break, saying they’ve grown in confidence after every win in the season so far.
“We’ve been playing really well over the past few games and we’ve been winning a lot, which is really good and it’s giving us more and more confidence with every win.
“We’re looking forward to the game and we’re confident we can play well enough to get another good result.”
Forced off through injury in the EFL Trophy win against Newport, Dronfield says he was more than satisfied with seeing the team win in their last outing, even if it was from the side-lines in the second-half.
“The boys did excellently, I was very disappointed that I had to come off, but the fact that the boys went out there to put five past them and kept a clean sheet was brilliant. They played really well and got what they deserved, so I was very happy.”
Finally, discussing the time off in the international break, the midfielder says it’s the perfect rest to come back and resume the season on winning ways.
“It was lovely just to be back home with the family, refresh the legs and refresh the mind!
"It was good time off for us to get back in the right headspace, come back in and have a really good week of training, ready to go into the game on Friday.
“The training we do is intense, so them five days, although we’re still doing runs to keep ourselves ticking over, is just so good to recharge our batteries and hit the ground running this week.”