After their 2-2 draw with Burnley on Monday afternoon, Norwich City Under-23s play their second game of the week as they host Sunderland U23s at the Lotus Training Centre on Friday (1pm KO).
Ahead of the game, the young Canaries find themselves eleventh in the Premier League 2 table, just two points behind Fulham with a game in hand. This Friday’s opposition are also within arm’s reach as the ninth-placed Sunderland sit three points ahead, meaning a City win would see them go level on points with the Black Cats.
It won’t be as easy as that, however, after Sunderland’s five game unbeaten streak only just came to an end on Monday in a competitive game against West Bromwich Albion. This streak was impressive and one which saw the Black Cats take results against title chasing Wolves, Burnley and Crystal Palace.
Monday wasn’t such a fruitful one for City, but their 2-2 draw with Burnley was a good point from top opposition as the season comes to its end.
Abu Kamara and Matthew Dennis both provided goals for City to be two ahead at the break, but a late comeback from the Clarets saw the points shared at Tameside Stadium.
The last meeting between the Black Cats and Canaries ended disappointingly for City as they lost 3-1 at the Academy of Light back in December of the current season.
An early goal from Mitchell Curry gave Sunderland the lead early on, which Patrick Almond then made two before half time. City came out motivated in the second half as William Hondermarck found the back of the net in the 54th minute, but Curry earned his brace seven minutes later to see the Canaries out of the game.
This Friday is the perfect way to right some wrongs from Monday’s draw according to Joe Rose, the goalkeeper saying the team were disappointed not to emerge with all three points against the title chasers.
“We’re all feeling positive and trying to bounce back from the game against Burnley, going into the game a 2-2 draw was a good result. Burnley are very high up in the league and we’re midtable, so if you said we’d get a point before the game, we’d have been happy.
“We were definitely looking for the three points in the game and we probably should have come out with them, we’re quite disappointed that we didn’t. Now, we’re just looking to turn our focus to Sunderland, find the win and play a better game than Monday.”
Discussing the short turnaround between Monday’s draw and this Friday’s meeting, Rose says the team relish the chance to emulate the first team schedule and see what life is like playing on such a regular basis.
“Weeks like this give us the opportunity to see what our first-team are going through, they’re playing a lot more games than us, so it’s an insight into that. We all feel ready to go again and put our emotions from the game against Burnley into good use against Sunderland this Friday.”