City U23s coach hopeful that winger's injury isn't serious

Norwich City's U23s take on Aston Villa U23s at Carrow Road. 10/09/2021 TT

Tony Springett on the attack for Norwich U23s against Aston Villa - Credit: Tony Thrussell

Academy staff are hopeful that winger Tony Springett has avoided serious injury, after being taken off on a stretcher during Norwich City Under-23s' excellent win last night. 

The 18-year-old had played his usual energetic role as the young Canaries roared into a 4-1 lead over Aston Villa U23s early in the second half at Carrow Road on Friday. 

However, he was left writhing in pain after having a shot blocked at close quarters during the closing stages and was eventually carried away after treatment. 

“Better than what we thought. It looked bad but fingers crossed it’s just a knock,” U23s coach Alan Neilson said. 

“It looks like impact. He’s kicked the foot, it’s a good tackle, a good block from the lad, there’s no malice in it – he's just got a few stud marks on the top of his foot.” 

With visiting striker Caleb Chukwuemeka also taken off on a stretcher in the second half after clattering a pitch-side advertising board and Villa pulled back a consolation with a header from winger Kahrel Reddin in the 10th minute of added time. 

It was an excellent night overall for the hosts though, with Jon Rowe’s opener cancelled by a superb long-range shot before the break, after chances were wasted. 

City moved through the gears after half-time though, thanks to an Abu Kamara penalty and two goals at set-pieces from centre-back Jonathan Tomkinson. 

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“I’m really pleased. We said to them at half-time, can you go and win the game? There’s no point just performing for 35 minutes,” Neilson continued. 

“For the first 35 minutes I thought we were the better team and then it’s a wonder-goal, a great strike, and then we lost our way a little bit, looked a little bit tired. 

“We went back to 4-4-2 and we challenged them to go and win the game. Villa are a good team and, yes, it is a team game but I said can you go and win your individual battles? If we have more winners than losers, then more than likely we’ll win the game.” 

Norwich City's U23s take on Aston Villa U23s at Carrow Road. 10/09/2021 TT

Norwich U23s defender Jaden Warner attacks a corner against Aston Villa - Credit: Tony Thrussell

There’s little time to savour the win and moving up to second in Division Two of Premier League Two though, with Derby heading to Colney on Monday for a 12.30pm kick-off in the group stages of the Premier League Cup. 

“We haven’t got a big squad. On the bench we had two under-18s who are travelling to Brighton now,” Neilson said after Friday’s game, referring to an U18s game on Saturday. 

“Then more than likely they’ll be back on our bench for Monday because we’ve got two long-term injuries and we haven’t got a big squad compared to some other clubs.” 

NCFC EXTRA: Tomkinson 'very pleased' after brace for Norwich City U23s

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