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Academy News

Greg Crane: Our forwards can take the game away from people very quickly

17 April 2021

Norwich City Under-18s coach Greg Crane described his side as ‘always in control’ after their dominant 5-0 win over Southampton on Saturday.

The Canaries looked comfortable throughout the game as they cruised past the Saints, keeping a clean sheet in the process.

Speaking in his post-match interview, Crane was pleased with what he saw from the young Canaries early on, especially from the forwards.

“I thought we started off really well on the front foot. We scored a couple of early goals which always helps! Then, I felt like we just dropped off it a bit, allowed them to get into the game a bit too much with a bit too much of the ball.

“The second half was about controlling the game, and I felt we did that. We didn’t always have the ball, but I always felt with our shape and the way we played, we were always in control.

“With the forwards we’ve got, they can take the game away from people very quickly. When they play like that, and as ruthless as they are in their finishing, it’s very good to see.”

But Crane wasn’t without his praise for the defensive side of today’s game from City, the coach praising one midfielder in particular.

“Something we try and pride ourselves on is hard work and it’s something we’ve been trying to get Joe [Duffy] and Oscar [Thorn] to do a little bit more of [tracking back]. We’re trying to get more Saxons [Earley] around the pitch.

“The way that boy covers ground across the pitch is really good, but yet again, we have to try and encourage these lads to develop and learn how to do both sides of the game because they’re not always going to be having 500 passes a game.

“Sometimes they’ve just got to hold their shape and do the ugly side of the game. It was a real credit to them and a real positive day for the defensive work.”

Finally, asked about the side’s consistency in beating Brighton and Southampton at opposite ends of the table, Crane says the most important thing is for the team to stick to their philosophy.

“It was something we spoke about and it’s something I challenged Brad Hills on, now he’s stepping up as captain. I think he’s got to start leading and driving standards, making sure individuals, the team, and unit are on song.

“That should be regardless of who we play because we’re still in that development phase where we’ve still got to try and learn the game.

“It’s really important that in any game, if we’re underdog or ‘favourites’, it doesn’t mean anything. We’ve got to make sure our principles and the way we play don’t change.”

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