Stiepermann at the double as comeback continues in style
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Marco Stiepermann scored twice for Norwich City's Under-23s as his return to first team contention took another step forward.
Stiepermann played the full 90 minutes as David Wright's team - which also included Josh Martin and Bali Mumba - beat Reading 3-1 in the Premier League Division 2. Jonathan Rowe was also on target for City.
“It felt more like a reserve game,” Wright told the club's official web site. “We had got the experience of Stiepi (Marco Stiepermann), along with the likes of Andrew (Omabamidele), Josh (Martin) and Bali (Mumba) who are young but who are in and around the first team and they had a similar group to us. So, it was good to put us against them and have a good game and I thought the boys did really well.
“It was a frantic game but at times some of our quality on the counterattack, and our pace and speed on the counterattack, was really pleasing to see.”
Stiepermann’s early opener was followed by a missed penalty by Martin, but Wright was happy with the way his side dealt with the pressure that followed from Reading.
“I think they got a boost from that (penalty miss) because all of a sudden they pinned us back, but we managed to weather that,” he said. “We spoke a lot at half-time about actually bypassing their press. Not always looking to play into it, but looking to go around it and go over it and I felt we had a better understanding of how to do it and we executed it better in the second half which then enabled us to get up the pitch better.
“They (Reading) are a good team. They have got a really good way of playing and it is quite difficult to stop. They have got a lot of bodies in the middle of the pitch and they try and go through you and if you are narrow then they will take you down the sides with the full backs. So the expectation was that they were going to create chances. We will view it, we will analyse it, and we will learn from it and we will take it into the next game.”
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Goalkeeper Orjan Nyland played his first 90 minutes in City colours on his way back from a lengthy spell out through injury.
Mumba was impressed with the recent signing.
“It was comfortable with him at the back,” he said. “He communicates well and as a player that is what you need, someone who is always communicating and keeping you on your toes and warning you when he sees any danger. So, it was a good performance from him. He made some good saves and kept us in the game.”
He added: “I was pleased with the lads. It was a team effort; we all stuck together and we defended well until the end and stayed compact and look to get the win. We are disappointed we didn’t get the clean sheet. That is what we were looking for, but we will take the win.
“I enjoyed it, just being out there on the pitch and getting some minute. That is very important for me to do, and winning it 3-1 just tops it off.”