Norwich City youngsters needed to be braver against Tottenham – David Wright
- Credit: Andy Kearns/Focus Images Limited
Football's harsh breeding ground taught Norwich City's under-18s some tough lessons as they were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup by Tottenham Hotspur.
City's U18s coach David Wright felt his team could have shown more bravery in their 2-0 defeat to Spurs at the Lamex Stadium in Stevenage, in the fifth round of the competition.
'I think the first half was where they hurt us, we didn't particularly turn up first half,' Wright said. 'I don't think we were good enough in possession, we were getting the ball back to front far too quickly and then on transition we weren't quite getting that right in terms of our shape.
'We were opening too many passing pathways for them through our midfield area, which was something we've been working on, closing them up and making them go on the outside of us.
'There were two things, in possession we weren't brave enough and out of possession we were too open and that hurt us in the first half, obviously conceding the two goals.
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'Second half was a lot better but we didn't play to the qualities that this team has got. I work with them every single day and some of the things they do individually and collectively are really good but the boys have got to learn and we've got to bring it on game day, you can't just do it in training, you've got to make sure you're brave enough to bring it to occasions like this.'
Two goals from lethal striker Kazaiah Sterling in the opening 30 minutes proved too much for the Norwich youngsters to overcome in the second half, in front of a crowd of almost 700.
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Glenn Middleton and substitute Alan Fleming both tested Spurs keeper Alfie Whiteman late in the second half but a comeback never really picked up steam, as the hosts sat deep and tried to hit City on the counter-attack.
That means City miss out on a trip to Newcastle United in the sixth round after being eliminated in the last 16, having won 5-1 at Watford and 4-0 at Burnley in earlier rounds this season.
'We scored lots of goals, punished the opposition, so it would have been nice to carry the journey on to Newcastle,' Wright continued. 'But in terms of the boys playing away from home, it's really good experience.
'To play at Carrow Road is great but to come to grounds like this and Burnley and Watford, the grounds the boys are experiencing, it's all good for their education.'