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Academy News

Match preview: Stoke City U23s v Norwich City U23s

14 February 2021

After their goalless draw to Fulham, Norwich City Under-23s travel to Clayton Wood Training Ground to face Stoke City on Monday evening (7pm KO).

Ahead of the game, the young Canaries sit tenth in the Premier League 2 table, the point earnt from the draw against Fulham seeing them remain level with Middlesbrough on 17 points.

Meanwhile, a three-game win-streak for Stoke has seen the Potters excel to second in the table with 24 points, seven points clear of David Wright’s side with the Canaries having a game in-hand.

The Premier League 2 table is still a fairly open one from top to bottom, three points possibly seeing the Canaries climb three places up to seventh as they battle it out for play-off positions by the end of the season.

The U23s last fixture was the second-time the Canaries have finished a game goalless this season, their first coming against Burnley in November. The game was a close one throughout, both City and Fulham unable to capitalise on their chances as they shared the points at the final whistle.

In the first meeting between the young Canaries and Stoke earlier this season, Wright’s U23s took a 2-1 win over the Potters, two brilliant strikes from Reece McAlear and Josh Giurgi finding the back of the net at the Lotus Training Centre.

Under-23s goalkeeper Joe Rose says the team are feeling positive going into the fixture and are working hard to make this game their first win in six games, whilst looking to end Stoke’s strong run of form.

“We’re feeling positive, in training we’ve all been working hard and we’re all looking forward to it. Obviously, we’ve seen Stoke’s form and it’s looking very good, while ours hasn’t been as great as we want it to be, but we’re hoping to make a difference in the next few games coming up.

“With a 4-0 loss to Crystal Palace and changing it round to take a 0-0 draw against Fulham, we’re now looking towards the next games like Stoke and trying to get the three points.

“We’re trying to change their form and give them their first loss in a while, hopefully we can crack on from then onwards and pick up more wins!”

Discussing the recent win-drought and the team’s attitude to get through it, Rose believes it’s nothing more than what to expect from football, especially with the risks the side take to play bravely on the pitch.

“It’s important for a lot of us that we win and get the points. The defenders and us goalkeepers what to get the clean sheet, but we also want to play the same way at the same time, so we’re willing to take a risk just to play the way we want to play.

“We’re expected to concede a few goals from every now and then by making a few mistakes, but that’s just part of football really.”      

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