Norwich City Under-23s must move focus to Liverpool tie quickly after semi-final defeat to Sunderland
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Academy manager Richard Money has urged Norwich City's under-23 squad to keep their spirits up, despite their 1-0 semi-final loss to Sunderland in the Premier League International Cup.
That is because the young Canaries have another big game to come on Monday night, against Liverpool in the Premier League Cup quarter-finals.
'I think if we score, if Ben Godfrey's header goes in, then maybe we're in the ascendancy and maybe we go on and win the game in extra-time,' Money said. 'We've lost a tight game, two teams that were well organised and difficult to break down, not many chances in the game for either team, a typical big game really.
'We've played against European opposition twice this season so we've had that big game experience. You don't get many chances to go into a final in your life so maybe that's disappointing but it depends whether your cup is half full or half empty, because we've got another chance and we go again on Monday.'
Match report: Norwich City U23s 0 Sunderland U23s 1
Money – who is overseeing the U23s on an interim basis, with Matt Gill pitch-side following the exit of Dmitri Halajko – confirmed Youssouf Mulumbu's substitution after an hour was pre-planned as he makes his way back from a thigh problem.
Mitchell Dijks played the full match to keep his fitness up while he serves a three-match suspension for the first team and Matt Jarvis also completed 90 minutes as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
'That's the biggest bonus of the night, that Matt was able to get through 90 minutes without any concern,' he said. When he's played in the under-23s previously, it's been 45 minutes, 60, 75, so 90 minutes was a big step for him.
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'Ninety minutes for Mitchell, a big bonus in terms of next weekend, so there's some bright sparks from the evening, some things that we've got out of it, Youssouf playing an hour will obviously help the first team between now and the end of the season.'
The former Cambridge United boss also praised 17-year-old winger Glenn Middleton, who saw his penalty saved in the 33rd minute but still put in a lively performance despite that disappointment.
'We're all confident that Glenn has a really bright future in the game and nights like this will test him in a different way,' Money said. 'It was a great save from the goalkeeper, it's not a really poor penalty, it's hit with some power and it's in the corner but the keeper has guessed right and made a really good save.
'Although he wasn't at his best tonight he probably gave us the moments in the second half when we looked as if we were capable of getting back in the game.'
City were also without the creative talent of Todd Cantwell and Louis McIntosh for the semi-final as well, who have also scored 11 goals between them for the U23s this season.
'Todd has a thigh strain, Louis McIntosh has a hamstring strain and probably in the key moments we missed them,' Money added. 'They have the ability to make the killer pass at the right moment and maybe at times we missed that.'