Norwich City Under-23s head coach David Wright was happy with much of what he saw as the Canaries beat Colchester United 3-1 in Monday’s friendly.
“For the first five or ten minutes, we felt our way into the game,” he said. “Once we understood the game, we took control of it.
“The first half, I felt we dominated and we were comfortable. We could have gone a few more goals ahead but I was really pleased with the discipline of our play.
“Four or five touches weren’t going to do us any good in this game, it was one, two-touch and move the ball, and wait and create opportunities that would come from moving the ball at speed.
“I felt we did that and the second half, we were 3-0 up, so I felt we slightly came off a touch which allowed them into it and the momentum of the game slightly shifted.
“From that moment, we never really got control of the game back. It was a bit of a 50-50 match then, but overall I’m pleased. The boys got another 90 minutes under their belts.”
Three players made the step up from City’s Under-18s team to the U23s, Oscar Thorne, Brad Hills and Joe Duffy coming off the bench.
“Brad came on at half time and I thought he did really well,” Wright said. “Oscar and Joe came on after an hour and did well too. It’s exposing the boys to a different type of game - Under-23s football compared to Under-18s.
“Then there’s that huge, ginormous step from U23s football to first team football.”
No points were won or lost, of course, but friendly matches remain integral to getting plenty of experience for everyone at the academy.
“It’s important that we continue playing matches,” Wright said.
“The 23s games in the league are a bit sporadic and we’ll play two games and then not play for a fortnight or three weeks, so we’re trying to get these friendlies in so the boys are constantly getting minutes so that at the end of the season a lot of them will have played a lot of football, which gives them every opportunity to improve and hopefully kick onto the next level or the next stage of their career.”