‘We were a bit too nice’ - City U23s boss frustrated by defeat at Villa
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Under-23s coach David Wright felt his Norwich City players lost their aggressive edge during a 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa in Premier League Two.
The development squad have made a bright start to the season, winning 3-2 at Plymouth in the EFL Trophy and then their PL2 opener 3-0 against Reading at Colney, bolstered by players including Sam McCallum, Danel Sinani and Josip Drmic.
It was a much younger squad at Villa’s training ground on Friday with defender Akin Famewo going off after half an hour as a precaution due to a tight hip.
“Recently, we’ve been really hard to play against but had a bit of nasty in us as well; aggressive and on the front foot,” Wright told City’s website.
“I thought we were a bit too nice and too passive. I felt that we had to drive it on the sidelines rather than what they’ve done over the last few games, which is driving it themselves, and that’s so much more powerful - when the players drive it.
“We lacked that real aggression tonight and killer instinct. The game ended up fizzling out really.
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“We had more shots on target than them but it felt like it was a nearly night. We nearly closed someone down or nearly got a good shot off. We nearly defended, so that’s what it felt like. Unfortunately, in this game if you’re nearly there it ends up biting you on the backside.”
Rob Nizet, Tyrese Omotoye, Zach Dronfield and Josh Giurgi were all denied by good saves in the first half but the hosts led 1-0 at the break and sealed their success with two further goals in the second half, one of which was a penalty.
Young striker Tom Dickson-Peters came on in the 79th minute to make his U23s debut, fresh from signing a three-year contract on his 18th birthday a couple of days earlier.
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Norwich U23s: McCracken; Vaughan, Omobamidele, Famewo (Tomkinson 29), Nizet; Dronfield, McAlear; Giurgi, Hondermarck (Dickson-Peters 79), Dennis (Springett 79); Omotoye. Unused subs: Blair (GK), Milovanovic.