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‘The boys can’t use that as an excuse’ – Heavy loss for City U23s follows Gill’s move to Ipswich

David Wright took charge of Norwich City's U23s for the first time on Monday night 
Picture: Nick Butcher

David Wright took charge of Norwich City's U23s for the first time on Monday night Picture: Nick Butcher

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Norwich City’s youngsters can not blame Matt Gill’s switch to Ipswich for their 4-0 defeat to Fulham at Carrow Road, says interim under-23s boss David Wright.

Gill’s move south of the border was announced on Saturday, with the former Canaries midfielder joining his former manager Paul Lambert as first-team coach at Portman Road.

A fourth consecutive Premier League Two defeat followed for a team with an average age of just over 18 on Monday night, with U18s boss Wright in temporary charge.

“Obviously Matt has got an excellent opportunity but the boys can’t use that as an excuse,” he said.

“I’ve been working with them the last three days and they can’t look at that, if they manage to go on and have a long career in first-team football the manager turnover is huge so I don’t think they can use that as an excuse.

“We just need to make sure we look at ourselves and perform more like we did in the second half than in the first.”

The former Crewe Alexandra defender, who led City’s U18s to the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals last season, is not throwing his hat in the ring to succeed Gill yet and said he needs to speak to academy manager Steve Weaver and sporting director Stuart Webber.

“Speaking to Steve last week it was just take the 23s and take tonight’s game,” Wright added. “I’m off on a course now for three days and when I’m back we’ll just see what Steve says and see what Steve and Stuart want to do.”

Wright can relate to Gill’s switch to Town though, having played for both clubs. He had a brief loan spell at Norwich at the end of 2005, making five appearances, but went on to make 128 appearances for Ipswich between 2007 and 2010.

“I’ve been here nearly two years now and I still get it, especially when the derby comes around!” the 38-year-old joked.

“But it is a good club that Matt’s gone to and he’s working with Paul, who’s an excellent manager, and Stuart (Taylor) his assistant as well.

“So I’m sure they’ll go in there and do an excellent job.”

REPORT: Norwich City U23s 0 Fulham U23s 4

With key players including Adam Idah, Simon Power and Adam Phillips all unavailable for the U23s against Fulham, Wright is hoping for a response from the youngsters away to Middlesbrough on Sunday afternoon.

“First half we were miles away from where I want us to be,” Wright continued. “I didn’t think we were brave enough in possession, didn’t think we had enough boys wanting to come and get on the ball and when that happens we’re working so hard to win it back and when we did win it back we were giving it straight back to them.

“It took until the 33rd minute I think it was when we had two bits of possession that looked like the way we want to play and we went from one end of the pitch to the other very quickly.

“The second half was a bit more like it but we conceded two poor goals really. In terms of the different between the first half and the second half, there were definitely more positives in the second than the first.”

He added: “It’s an under-19s team really, not a 23s team, if you go right through the team it’s second-year scholars and first-year pros really.

“But from first half to second there was an improvement but as a team we’ve got a bit of work to do to get us where we want to be.”

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