Academy

Greg Crane: There was a positive response from the players today

Norwich City Under-18s coach Greg Crane says he was pleased with his team’s reaction to their 10-0 loss to Aston Villa last week, despite another 3-1 loss to Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors found the opener early on, before Osman Foyo’s screamer got City on level terms, but ultimately the Blues would go on to take all three points after two goals in the second half.

Speaking in his post-match interview, Crane said he was happy with his team’s performance, but urges them to develop their tactical adaptability in the future.

“I’d be shocked if we were worse than last week! No but really, there was a good and positive response from the players today. We’ve gone back to 4-4-2, gone back to basics, working on being hard to beat, having a bit of bite in our game, tackling, just doing the basics.

“The lads showed that for about 65 minutes today, then they ran out of steam a bit. It’s a tough one to take, they scored late on, so we were in the game until the last minute. We’ve just got to keep building on them basics, being really good at that, then letting their extra ability do the next little thing.

“They should’ve had a bit more clarity in our formation today, we’ve played that formation a little bit longer, but what we’re after is adaptable players, so when they get to a first-team they can’t just play in a 4-4-2.

“We want them to play in a diamond, a three at the back, anything where they adapt because that’s what will be demanded of them at the top end. They aren’t always going to play one way, one shape, one style of play.

“It’s really important that the lads understand that they have to improve and take information on tactically and implement that on the pitch week in, week out.”

One major positive for Crane to take from the game was his team’s mentality and determination, fighting on until the final whistle.

“I was pleased with their mentality throughout the whole game, even in the 90th minute, they were still sprinting back, still trying. The only thing that let me down were a couple of individual moments where they should be bumping, blocking, coming and claiming, holding the ball.

“I’m a nit-picking coach, I like to make sure that the standards are high and that the little things are taken care of because if you do that your performance will be helped. We’ve got some of the players who want to compete for U23s places, but they’ve got to up their game a little bit more.”

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