City U23s looking to learn lessons from Leeds loss as they face Boro
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It’s a clash of Division Two’s top two at Colney in Premier League Two on Friday, as leaders Norwich City take on Middlesbrough looking to show they have learned from defeat to a very experienced Leeds team.
The young Canaries lost 2-0 at Leeds’ training ground last Sunday, to a Whites team featuring senior players including Pablo Hernandez, Raphinha and goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.
“It was a great experience for the boys, certainly against the calibre Leeds had out,” City’s U23s coach David Wright reflected. “They had six first team lads and international players who have won lots of promotions and who are in the squad for their senior side.
“For our young group to come up against that and put themselves up against it to see where they’re at, it’s great for them and it’s great for us to see them against that level of player.
“A couple of boys struggled with it, but some boys really stood up, especially the likes of Andrew (Omobamidele) and Jon McCracken, I thought they were excellent.
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“You then look at the younger boys, Tom Dickson-Peters and Sean Stewart, those lads have had a really busy weekend at Chelsea on Friday (with Dickson-Peters scoring twice in a 4-3 away loss) and then Sean makes his debut for us on the Sunday and he’s against Pablo Hernandez. It’s brilliant and those two came out with such good credit.”
City are top of Division Two thanks to four wins from six games so far, to sit two points clear of Boro and Leeds.
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However, Boro have a game in hand so will arrive at the Lotus Training Centre (1pm kick-off) with top spot in their sights.
“It’s good for the coaches to see how the players react to it,” former Crewe defender Wright added of the Leeds game, speaking to City’s official website. “All the lads want to progress and become first team players, they want to go across and train with them. If they want to do that, then that’s the type of player they’ll come up against every single day.
“If they want a long career they need to get used to that and respect the player that’s in front of them, but they can’t fear them, they need to go out there and perform to their level.”