Norwich City Under-21s targeting strong finish to their season after exciting draw with Reading
- Credit: JASON DAWSON/JASONPIX
The elation of storming back from 3-1 down against Reading was clouded by disappointment for Norwich City Under-21s coach Dmitri Halajko, after seeing his side concede a late equaliser in an eight-goal thriller.
The young Canaries went into the break 3-1 down in their latest Under-21 Premier League encounter at Carrow Road last night but scored three goals in eight minutes to roar into a 4-3 lead in the second half.
However a penalty conceded by Ebou Adams amongst frantic defending in the second minute of injury-time saw the hosts pegged back and two points slip from their grasp, to remain second from bottom in the table.
'We're gutted, we thought our first half performance is what lost us the game really, we weren't happy with ourselves at all in the first half and that's what's lost it,' Halajko said.
'We've got back into it and we're happy with that part but then to lose it at the end doesn't give us anything to, although we've got a point, it feels like a poor performance in the first half and a late goal in the second half – which is two things we'll be disappointed about.'
Among the bright spots for City were two goals for striker Benny Ashley-Seal, who also set up Glenn Middleton for a lovely volley in the first half, as the duo continue to defy their tender years.
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'They were the youngest players on the pitch, a 16-year-old (Middleton) and a 17-year-old (Ashley-Seal). Benny got an assist and scored two and Glenn's was a really good finish,' the U21s coach continued.
'So playing players of that age at this level of football is what I think Norwich City are good at – so that bodes well for the future.'
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The young Canaries play their final match at Carrow Road of the season on Monday, April 4, in another 7pm kick-off. That is followed by their final league fixtures away at Leicester on April 11, Southampton on April 18 and Liverpool on April 25.
'We've got four games left, one at home against Everton and three away games, and we've got to play teams who are in and around us in the bottom part of the league so there is plenty to play for,' Halajko added.
'We need to get as many wins as we can and try to finish in the highest league position that we can.
'I think there's quite a few games where we've chucked away in the dying minutes, which is frustrating, so I would like to think we are slightly better than our current position, especially with the way some of our youngsters are progressing as well.
'I think we're better value than where we are in the league but we need to turn some of the good play or good performances and good potential into results – and that's really the next step that we need to achieve.'