‘It’s not the referee that’s cost us three points, it’s ourselves’ – City U23s boss keeps his cool after dramatic finish

Alfie Payne in action during Norwich City U23s' 1-1 draw with Sunderland at Colney Picture: Norwich

Alfie Payne in action during Norwich City U23s' 1-1 draw with Sunderland at Colney Picture: Norwich City - Credit: Norwich City

Despite a controversial finish with boos aimed at the officials at Colney, under-23s head coach David Wright feels his Norwich City youngsters only had themselves to blame for drawing with Sunderland.

City's U23s went in front just before the break through Anthony Spyrou but a short back-pass from Adam Phillips allowed the Black Cats to equalise with 13 minutes remaining.

Tom Scully thought he'd won the Premier League Two battle in the third minute of injury-time though, finishing nicely after the visiting keeper slammed into Spyrou as they both chased the loose ball, leaving both hurt on the floor.

'I don't agree with his decision, I don't know how you can play on, Tom takes another four or five touches and puts it in the back of the net, then he whistles for a goal,' Wright said.

'I think he's maybe bowed to a bit of pressure from them (Sunderland) but there's nothing we can do about that, it's not the referee that's cost us three points, it's ourselves.

'What we did in the first half we didn't do in the second. From dominating the first half, we didn't dominate the second, we lost control and that allowed them back into the game.

'So we can have a whinge and a moan about the referee but we've only got ourselves to blame.'

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Wright's team were bolstered by first team players Grant Hanley, Kenny McLean – as both continued their returns from injury – and keeper Michael McGovern during the 1-1 draw on Monday evening.

'Grant has played with the U23s a few times this year and his attitude when he does is outstanding, he's brilliant, and Kenny's been a part of it for a week or so now and he's been exactly the same,' City's U23s boss continued.

'They've dropped into the group and they show the boys how to be professional footballers, through their attitude and how they apply themselves, I think it's great.

'Obviously Micky dropping down and getting some game time as well, last couple of days he's been excellent as well.

'It's just minutes for Grant but the attitude and application, from all three of them, was outstanding.'