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U18s coach Greg Crane: We didn't play like ourselves first half

22 March 2021

Under-18s coach Greg Crane admitted that his side didn’t play like themselves in the first half of their FA Youth Cup loss to West Ham United, but it was important the players took lessons from the defeat.

The Canaries were comfortably beaten 5-0 at Carrow Road with the Hammers racing into a 3-0 lead before adding two goals late on to put a gloss on the scoreline.

“First half we didn’t play like ourselves, like we have played throughout the whole season” said Crane. “So, we were disappointed in terms of that. Then at the start of the second half we got going a bit and the chance we created for Abu (Kamara) was more like us, and more like how we have tried to play this season.

“Then the momentum took it away from us. West Ham rode it out and we just tried to stretch for it a little bit at the end and they scored a fourth and a fifth late on because we were pushing and the lads were exhausted, and they were just trying to get the next goal and it just didn’t come.”

Speaking about the chance for Kamara, as well as a first half header for Tony Springett, Crane added: “It is rare for Tony Springett to get header but he was in the right position and another day he might have taken it and put it in the back of then net but that is something we will have to work on.

“Then Abu (Kamara) I would back him nine times out of 10 to score that chance but the stadium can do funny things to the lads growing up because they are not used to the environment and the surroundings and the pressure of the FA Youth Cup. I think they (Tony and Abu) will be kicking themselves a little bit, but the group understand the long-term development. They will be hurting now, but we play Fulham on Saturday. So, we are in tomorrow and we go again."

“The lads have got to learn to win, and they have got to learn to lose," added Crane. "The first team players have to live with that pressure every game, every week. So hopefully they learn from it. They learn how they feel in certain moments and how they act in victory and how they act in defeat, because the lads are in the dressing room with the chins on their chest and thinking it is the end of the world, but tomorrow is another day and we go again.”

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