Greg Crane: It is disappointing from the lads in terms of their mentality

Under-18s coach Greg Crane reflects on Saturday's 4-1 loss to Sunderland in the Premier League Cup

Under-18s coach Greg Crane was disappointed with the mentality his players showed in the second half of their Premier League Cup defeat to Sunderland.

The Canaries lost the match 4-1, with all the goals being scored after the break. Crane felt that when the first goal went in the players' heads dropped slightly and their performance suffered.

“We conceded a goal and then we lost our heads, and we didn’t work together as a team,” he said. “Then the game became a bit bitty and another goal went in and the game just became too far out of our reach.

“It is disappointing from the lads in terms of their mentality. It seems we are doing okay one week and then not so well the next. They have got to find a consistent level of performance and that has got to be based off hard work and hard work alone.”

The under-18s have had a tough start to the season but began the match at the Academy of Light well and perhaps could have gone in at the break ahead.

“First half we were in the game,” said Crane. “We had a couple of chances where I thought we should have done better.

"We have just got to take a little bit more care in the final third. They had a couple of chances as well and it was a pretty even first half if I am honest, but then unfortunately a similar trait that we have been seeing, happened again.

“It is something that has happened a few times already this season. I think we have got to learn as a group of players if one goal goes in it is not game over.

“It is not a case of let’s drop our heads because we can’t score, because we are capable of scoring goals and we are creating chances in games; we are just not putting them in and the opposition teams are.”

The Under-18s face Tottenham Hotspur in the Under-18 Premier League South next and Crane added that the players have got to learn quicker if they are going to improve.

“We need to go and work on a few things tactically, we need to improve a few things technically, physically and mentality,” he said.

“It is an on-going process where every week we need to get better and we need to keep learning, but we need to learn faster than what we are doing at the moment.

"We can’t let things hang over from the previous week. We have got to start moving forward because if we don’t the players will plateau in terms of their development and that is not what they can afford to do at this stage in their career.”

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