Norwich City Under-23s are heading north as they travel to face Middlesbrough U23s at Heritage Park this Friday (2pm KO).
The young Canaries sit tenth in the table ahead of the clash on 17 points, just a point separating them from this weekend’s opposition.
That point advantage sees the Boro side in ninth-place in the Premier League 2 table, the Northern side also having a game in hand to fall back on.
The U23s league continues to prove to be a tightly-contested one as the campaign draws closer to its end, the three teams below City all within an arm’s reach, whilst all having a huge three games in hand to close the gap on the Canaries.
David Wright’s side last played out an unfortunate 2-0 loss to Leeds at the Lotus Training Centre. The league leaders found the lead early in the second half, sealing the result with a penalty in injury time after three red cards between the sides.
Last time out against Boro earlier this season, the young Canaries took a 3-1 loss at the Lotus Training Centre. City started brightly, taking the lead through Tyrese Omotoye’s finish, but three second half goals would give Middlesbrough all three points.
The U23s are feeling optimistic ahead of their visit to Heritage Park according to forward Tony Springett, who says that the team have worked hard on their attacking quality in the build-up to this fixture.
"We're feeling really positive because over the past few games we've analysed what we need to do better when it comes to final third entry and end-product.
"We've worked on that a lot during the week and all of us are feeling a lot more positive, especially attacking wise, about how we're going to go forward."
Despite the fixture possibly being decisive in the Canaries climb of the league table, Springett says that the side see this game the same as any other, adding that previous negative results shouldn't get them down.
"On paper it's a big game, but altogether as a team we look at this as just another match. We don't really focus too much on what's going on, we just want to get the win and we look at every other team as the same.
"We go out there everytime looking to put on a performance and improve on what we haven't been doing well. It's all about development at the end of it.
"I think it's important that a few bad results don't get our head down because the team is always changing, we try to do what we can. We have to keep our heads held high and know that if we go out there and give our best every game then we'll improve."
You can follow all the action of Friday afternoon's game on our dedicated Academy Twitter account.