Canaries U18s coach thrilled by character shown to earn home FA Youth Cup tie against Crystal Palace or Newcastle
PUBLISHED: 11:48 14 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:19 15 January 2018
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The character shown by Norwich City Under-18s to come from behind twice against Derby to secure FA Youth Cup progress delighted coach David Wright.
The young Canaries won their fourth round tie 4-2 at Carrow Road on Friday evening, thanks to goals from Alan Fleming, Bilal Kamal, Timi Odusina and Anthony Spyrou.
“I’m very pleased,” U18s boss Wright said. “When we spoke at half-time it was just asking the players what they were waiting for, they just seemed to be playing within themselves, which allowed Derby to have the upper hand.
“In the second half we started to express ourselves more and as the half went on we grew into it and started coming on top of the game.
“Then you go into extra-time and by then both teams have worked each other out by then so it then comes down to real desire, concentration, and that real desire to push yourself.
“I thought it was great that, God knows how many of the lads went down with cramp, but they kept bouncing back and kept going. For me, obviously the win is great but to see that character they’ve got as a great is really good.”
The victory owed a great deal to keeper Ryan Dickerson – stepping in after Jon McCracken had a stress fracture of his back diagnosed – saving a penalty and Aaron Ekumah clearing off the line at 2-2 to take the match to extra-time.
“Obviously we did our homework on their penalties from the Man Utd game (Derby’s shootout victory in the third round), so Ryan had a good idea of where he was going to go, but he still had to save it.” Wright continued. “He got down really well and he pushed it clear.
“Aaron has been out for a while with an injury as well so to come on (for the injured Louis Lomas) and still have that instinct and to go back and cover and get the ball clear was excellent.”
City will be at home again in the fifth round, with Wright adding: “Either Crystal Palace or Newcastle at home, I think this is the first run of home games we’ve had in the Youth Cup so that’s great. We’re through to the next round now and hopefully we’ll get a few more fans in and the fans will get behind the boys and really push us on.”