Norwich City Under-18s coach Greg Crane says he was impressed with what he saw from the Canaries defence despite a losing 3-0 result against Fulham on Saturday.
City hosted the Cottagers in their penultimate game of the 2020-2021 season at the Lotus Training Centre, conceding three times in the second half to see Fulham take all three points.
However, regardless of that result, Crane says he was happy with what he saw from the City defence, highlighting three players in particular.
“In the first half I was impressed by our defensive shape, I felt it was a fairly even game and we just got unlucky with our early chances.
“Then in the second half, Fulham got it going and we didn’t and once they had their first, they used that momentum to keep going. I don’t want to come here and see Fulham attack us for 90 minutes.
“I was impressed with Jayden [St. Paul], Brad [Hills] and Ships [Lewis Shipley]. Everybody in the backline were putting their bodies on the line today and did everything they could to keep the ball out of our net.”
Fulham had the motivation of a title-chase to keep alive with a win over the Canaries on Saturday, but Crane says the motivation of putting on the shirt should be enough for City to show the same desire.
“I’m not sure what edge Fulham did or didn’t have, I think we can only really focus on ourselves and what we can bring and we didn’t have that today. Fulham have looked motivated all season based on their results.
“Every game for our lads is a chance to put on the yellow shirt and show what they’ve got. Some of the lads might look back and be a bit disappointed with what they did and didn’t do.”
Finally, asked if he expects a good performance from the U18s in their final game of the season against Aston Villa on Tuesday, the U18s coach said that benchmark remains for every game of the season.
“I expect a great performance every game, this last game of the season is the final chance to put on the yellow shirt and show what they have, like I said, before the summer break.
“It’s one last game to hopefully put on a good performance, get a win, and sail off into the sunset.”