Under-23s coach David Wright said that the side should focus on the positives of their performance against Aston Villa, despite conceding a last-minute winner to the side on Friday evening.
The U23s were left disappointed after Louie Barry finished his hat-trick with the last-minute goal against the Canaries in their 3-2 loss.
Despite the loss, Wright spoke heavily on the positive aspects of the U23s performance, saying that he felt the side could’ve created more chances, but admitted the final decision-making in the final-third was their downfall.
“There were some excellent bits, some good bits and a few not so good bits, but that’s fine because for us, we’re still on that development journey and we’re still a very young under-23s team.
“We’ve still got the excellent bits, like the goal, that’s great. The bit we work on there is can we do that more often? I felt we had bits and pieces right through the game, but it was just that last bit that let us down, that last pass or that last decision.
“I felt we could’ve created more chances. There’s a few bits and pieces that in terms of our passing and the detailing of our passing, I felt we got that wrong a number of times, which set their counter-attack up because they’re ready to go and are very good at counter-attacking. Overall, there’s some very pleasing bits, but lots to work on.”
“The first goal was excellent; we do a lot of movement pattern stuff like that. Even if it’s just a passing drill, it looks like just a passing drill, but it’s the way we play. It’s nice to see when the boys transfer it onto the pitch.
“We created a number of nearly moments, so some of them we need to tidy up. Out of possession I was pleased with the press, the players understanding of the press and what we spoke about. There’s always areas we’re pleased with and always areas we can work on.”
Villa’s first two goals both came in form of penalties, seeing Barry step up and convert both from the spot. Speaking on the appeals, Wright said whilst he felt that neither decision was correct, his side should focus on their own scoring to negate the spot-kicks.
“I didn’t think both penalties were penalties. There was a penalty shout before the first one that I actually thought if the boy goes down then it’s a penalty, but he stays on his feet and gets his shot off and it isn’t.
“I always think if you look at the reaction of the players, especially the second one, I don’t think one Villa player appealed for it and you could see the shock on our lads’ faces. I think that’s always an indication, but I said to the boys we can’t do anything about that, we’ve got to look after ourselves.
“If we looked at ourselves, the things we need to improve on, then maybe if we were able to get that final pass away the scoreline may have been different and the penalty doesn’t really come into play.”
Finally, Wright emphasised the quality in his side’s performance on the night, saying he was pleased with the team’s effort after nearly a month away from competitive fixtures.
“There’s a lot of positives from tonight, we don’t get hung-up on the bits that went wrong, we always look at the bits that went right, you can still make them better. We’ll look at them and move on.
“The boys haven’t played a game for quite a while, so to come out and put a shift in like that and show numerous bits of quality in and out of possession from such a long time of not playing is pleasing.”