Norwich City Under-18s coach Greg Crane felt that the side ‘lacked characters’ in their 5-0 defeat to Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
Fulham found the lead early in a quiet first half before scoring four in the second to secure all three points comfortably.
Speaking in his post-match interview, Crane said: “We just spoke to the lads after the game about the basics, doing the basics for the 90 minutes. I thought we did that okay in the first half, our defending, tackling, heading, running with your man, tracking.
“I felt we lacked that in the second half, then I felt we lacked some characters to step up when it gets tough. We find out about the lads; we want them to step up. I think some of them did, but some need to step up a bit more often.
“The pitch was difficult, it reminded me of my non-league days a little bit! But football isn’t about that glitz and glam, it’s about defending and putting your head where it hurts, it’s about clearing balls off the line, putting your body on the line and going through the pain barrier.
“We did that all okay, like I said in the first half. Football is 90 minutes though, you’ve got to play for the full game, there’s no good doing it for 45 minutes and they’ve got to learn that. We did the same on Monday, we conceded five then, we’ve got to do better than that.”
One positive to come out of the game for Crane were the debuts of Under-16s players Reece Trueman, Finley Welch and Michael Reindorf, with the U18s coach going on to further praise Ken Aboh and Alex Matos for their continued application to the squad.
“I think the U16s came in with real enthusiasm, Ken [Aboh] and Alex [Matos] have always played with that enthusiasm. They play with that desire, which you just like to see.
“Welchy [Finley Welch] and Michael [Reindorf] came on near the end and showed that same enthusiasm. I was really pleased with the 16s, Ken gave it a real go, was he always successful? Sometimes, no, but he gave it a real go on the day. I was really pleased with him and Alex especially today.