14 days ago
Under-23s coach Alan Neilson described Norwich City’s performance against Charlton Athletic in the Premier League Cup as ‘hit and miss’.
The Canaries took the lead in the match at the Lotus Training Centre, through a 24th minute strike from Jon Rowe, but Charlton Athletic equalised early in the second half, through Wissam Aouchria, and came closest to winning the match late on with an effort from Dylan Gavin.
New head coach Dean Smith and his assistant Craig Shakespeare were at the match to watch the players for the first time and Alan felt that could have had an impact on his players.
“We could have been stronger in certain positions,” said Alan. “It was very hit and miss. I thought at times we didn’t move the ball quick enough. Our passing was not really on it tonight and it was a game where, a new manager has come in, and they were trying to impress, and we have gone away a little bit from the way that we play.
“At Aston Villa, I am sure they (Dean Smith and Craig Shakespeare) watched the under-23s and it is great for the boys to play in front of them.
“It will be the first time they have watched the boys live and naturally they are going to try and impress him. The head of football development Steve Weaver said to them that they can do a lot better than they did and we know that.
“They were trying to over impress but if you do the simple things well then that is the basis of a good performance and tonight, we didn’t do the simple things well. We got outbattled in certain positions and we didn’t pass the ball as well as we could and fair play to Charlton they really pressed us.
“They had nothing to lose in the second half and tonight we didn’t quite move the ball quick enough, we didn’t give angles for each other and didn’t give options for each other and they got a draw which they deserved.”
Speaking about Charlton’s equaliser, which looked slightly offside when Aouchria headed home, Neilson added: “I don’t think it was offside. Saxon (Earley) has played centre midfield and he has played left-back and he has played centre half now. Tony (Springett) is an attacking player realty and he dropped in at left-back and they just got done with the ball into the back post. They didn’t speak to each other and they got caught and the lad finished it well.”
Norwich City now have two points from the three matches in Group C so far, but with three games to go it is all to play for.
"It is still all to play for," said Alan. "We only have to finish second in the group and I don’t know if Derby played tonight but they will play Reading and that will mean everybody has played three games and we will be half way through the group stage in the Premier League Cup. If we can get two wins from the last three games that will probably be enough."