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Academy News

Steve Weaver: It could have been two different performances

27 February 2021

Norwich City Head of Football Development Steve Weaver felt that the Under-18s 2-1 loss to Chelsea was a tale of two halves on Saturday afternoon.

The young Canaries conceded two to the Blues in the first half, before a dominant second half saw them fall just short of a leveller.

Speaking in his post-match interview, Weaver described the Canaries’ first half performance as ‘too respectful’ but said the last 45 minutes showed their true quality.

“I thought we were very respectful in the first half as a team. It was probably too easy for Chelsea, to be fair. I think that first half performance would be one that Chelsea enjoyed. I just didn’t think we got to grips with the game, probably too respectful.”

“I say a lot, I don’t come to these games to watch their players, I come to these games to watch our players. I said to them, ‘Lads come on, just play the way we do, forget about who we’re playing’.

“If you look back to last week, Crystal Palace are top of the league and they were probably less respectful to Palace than they were to Chelsea. It’s something that’ll happen, I think all young players are like it sometimes.

“I had some words at half time, I’ve got to say I’m not that sort of coach. I can be honest, but I had a dig at one or two of them because they know they’re better than that and have more responsibility. I felt that some of the first-year lads needed help, some of the second-years didn’t help them enough.

“Some of the lads who haven’t had a lot of games, like Sol [Alidor-Hamilton] at right-back for instance, you know he needs help from people who know how to play alongside him.

“I thought in the first half we were off it, but then the second half with the first-team staff and sporting director [Stuart Webber] watching, they could see the talent that we’ve got on show. It could have been two different performances really; I just wish we turned up in the first half.”

Asked about the half time team talk and his thoughts on the second half showing, Weaver said he was pleased with the young Canaries reaction in the last 45 minutes, despite the losing result.

“If I’m being honest, I’m very much a Monday to Friday coach and Saturday is about them, we do our work during the week. The only time I’m only ever overly vocal at half time is if I feel that they’re letting themselves down.

“That was probably the first time in a long time that they let themselves down. But then all of a sudden, we get the first chance in the second half and probably should have been level long before we got the goal.

“They’re all young players, whether they’re playing for Chelsea or Norwich City, they’re all the same. They go through this process then hopefully by the time they get to wherever they’re going, they’re okay.

“I was delighted with the second half, I said at the end I was really proud of what they did in the second half. That’s my biggest thing, I’m not bothered about the result at all. I’m bothered about good players looking poor, but we were a good side second half.”

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