After their defeat to West Ham United in the FA Youth Cup, Norwich City Under-18s return to league action as they take on Fulham at the London School of Economics on Saturday afternoon (12pm KO).
The young Canaries sit eighth in the U18 Premier League table ahead of the clash, just a point behind Arsenal, who they beat in their last league fixture going into this game.
Meanwhile, Fulham sit comfortably at third in the table ahead of this meeting. The Cottagers have an impressive 35 points so far this season, losing just five games this season.
The Canaries will be looking to bounce back with a good performance against this weekend’s hosts after a difficult 5-0 loss to West Ham at Carrow Road in the FA Youth Cup on Monday.
An early goal from Ademipo Odubeko gave the Hammers their foundation as they went on to score four more throughout the 90 minutes to see City out of the tournament.
For Fulham, their last game couldn’t have gone much better after their 6-0 win over Southampton.
Due to rearrangements, this will be the first time City face Fulham this season. However, the last time they faced the Cottagers was back in November of the 2019-2020 season, when this weekend’s hosts took a 5-3 win after an incredible six goals in the first half.
The game ahead is a great opportunity for the team to bounce back according to Under-18s midfielder Saxon Earley, who say’s the team dealt with their disheartening loss on Monday well heading into this fixture.
“Everyone was very disappointed after what happened on Monday. The great thing about it is we’ve got this game just five days later to make it right.
“We’re very disappointed, we had a chat about it and dust ourselves down and now we can try make up for it against Fulham. I think we’ve dealt with it well; we’ve just got to make up for it in this game.”
It’s not been the most pleasant 18 months for Earley, who says he played less than ten games in that period through injury, but added his relief to be back fit and fighting on the pitch.
“It was more of a relief and enjoyment more than anything, I’ve had multiple troubles with injury and played just eight games in the last 18 months.
“To get back and be on the pitch playing football, which is the reason why I’m here with the lads, it was nice to be on playing. Although, the result obviously didn’t go our way.”
Finally, looking ahead to Saturday’s game, the midfielder says this game and the weeks ahead are important for the U18s in both learning from defeat and getting back to looking ahead.
“I’d say this game is a mixture of both learning from West Ham, but then it’s about moving on and your development. It’s a very big mixture of both going into the game and hopefully we can put it behind us and go forward from now.”