Fearless Canaries just getting started
Archant © 2018
Opportunity knocks for Norwich City’s next generation in Tuesday’s EFL Trophy group opener at Oxford United (7:45pm).
The likes of Ben Godfrey and James Maddison featured the last time the Canaries' accepted an academy invite for the competition featuring all the League One and Two clubs.
None of Daniel Farke's senior squad will be involved while the likes of Adam Idah, Dan Adshead and Aiden Fitzpatrick are away on international duty.
But Under-23s head coach David Wright still expects a breakthrough moment or two at the Kassam Stadium.
"We will have boys who will surprise us. Not in the sense that we don't know they are good players already, but they will show no fear, they won't be overawed by the occasion," he said.
"On nights like this you do find out a lot about these young players. Are they brave enough to get on the ball when they have a 28-year-old with 300 appearances under their belt steaming towards them? That tells us little things about their character.
"We are losing some of the boys who have been selected for their countries.
"That is great for them. We did actually have a conversation with their respective associations to let them know this game was available to them and would they release the players. They decided they wanted to keep them. That is fine. It is a great signal for our academy to have so many international age group players and it gives others opportunities."
Wright's development squad have lost only one of their opening four Premier League Two games.
"In terms of results it could be better but we are constantly reminding them this is a new group," he said. "We brought in some new players in the summer, the second year scholars have stepped up and even the likes of Akin (Famewo), who has been here nine months, he is like a new player because he had an injury when he joined.
"It takes time to get those messages on board but in the last two against Aston Villa and Middlesbrough it has been pleasing to see them taking that on. As a coach it is exciting to see how far we will have developed by Christmas. We have done our homework on Oxford, we know the shape they have been playing but mostly it is about us."