Norwich City’s young guns out to raise spirits against MK Dons

Josh Murphy notched a hat-trick for Norwich City's U23s against Barnet in the last EFL Trophy tie. P

Josh Murphy notched a hat-trick for Norwich City's U23s against Barnet in the last EFL Trophy tie. Picture: Daniel Hambury/Focus Images - Credit: Daniel Hambury/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City's young guns aim to lift the gloomy mood around the Canaries by completing an EFL Trophy clean sweep on Tuesday night against League One MK Dons at Carrow Road (kick-off 7pm).

Dmitri Halajko's troops have crushed Peterborough and Barnet in their previous two group games and will book a home tie in the knock-out stages if they beat the managerless Dons.

Alex Neil's seniors went into the international break on the back of a third consecutive Championship defeat to Leeds United and the likes of Josh Murphy and Sergi Canos could get a chance to impress the Scot.

'We want to win the game, win the group and get ourselves a home tie in the next round. That is a big incentive for us,' said Halajko. 'The other thing is a game of this nature is an opportunity for each individual to really prove something, whether it is pushing on into the first team or maybe getting a loan move. They are all on their individual journey and a game at this level can do good things for you.

'I think it will be a blend, perhaps not quite as many first team boys as we had at Barnet but I am sure there will be some senior players who perhaps need a bit more game-time than of late. I think there will be more 23s than first teamers but these type of games always give the first team manager an opportunity to drop one or two in to sharpen them up.'

Norwich U23s have six points from their opening two games, one point clear of MK Dons, with both already having qualified for the last 32, and go into the game buoyed by a 4-1 win at Everton last week in the Premier League Cup.

'The confidence should be high after that because they proved when they put their minds to it they can be a match for any team at this level,' said Halajko.

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'Everton were top of the league in the league above and they had a couple of senior players involved as well. We deserved our win.

'It was the most disciplined we have been off the ball, the most organised we have been and to keep that up for 90 minutes and to limit a team like Everton to one goal was a big strong point. The key was our defending. We felt if we could frustrate them that would give us a foothold in the game.'