City's U23s chief lays down a challenge ahead of EFL Trophy trip to Crawley

PUBLISHED: 05:55 01 October 2019

Norwich City's U23s head coach David Wright speaks ahead of EFL Trophy clash vs Crawley Town. Photo: Tony Thrussell

Norwich City's U23s head coach David Wright speaks ahead of EFL Trophy clash vs Crawley Town. Photo: Tony Thrussell

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Norwich City U23 boss David Wright is hoping that competing in the EFL Trophy will expose his young Canaries to the harsh realities of professional football.

Norwich City U23 boss David Wright is hoping that competing in the EFL Trophy will expose his young Canaries to the harsh realities of professional football.

Wright's men sit bottom of their group ahead of their final fixture against Crawley Town in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday (7.45pm) and he says the competition has offered his squad a different experience to that provided by development league football.

Although City have been beaten by League One outfits Portsmouth and Oxford United, Wright believes the lesson learnt from those games will prove invaluable.

Speaking prior to the Crawley fixture, Wright said:

"The style (between U23 football and the EFL Trophy) is different - although Oxford to Portsmouth was very different. Oxford tried to build the game through the thirds. Portsmouth were trying more to isolate our full-backs to create one v ones and get crosses into the box.

"The Premier League Two is similar to the Oxford game.

"We warned the team about how Kenny's (Jackett) teams play and that they like to get crosses into the box with lads attacking it. They don't get exposed to that in Premier League Two so when they do get exposed in these games, it's great."

The arrival of Premier League academes have been met with scepticism from the supporters of the EFL clubs in the competition, but Wright insists that, for the development of talent, it's a pivotal experience.

"It's a good lesson and when they're looking at their opposition players who have played hundreds of league games and are experienced, it's a good marker for them to get a better understanding of where they are," he said.

"That kind of experience is invaluable but also for them moving forward, that's what they want to do. Not just three times but week in, week out.

"I like to think that when they are playing these games they get a hunger and a thirst for it and want to kick their own careers on."

City will be without Adam Idah due to the current first-team injury crisis and there will be a late call on the keeper situation, with third choice Michael McGovern in line to step up for Saturday's encounter with Aston Villa.

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