Semi-final pain fuelling Norwich City U23s for Premier League Cup semi-final at Reading
- Credit: Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd
An opportunity to finish this season on a high awaits Norwich City Under-23s in their Premier League Cup semi-final against Reading today.
Coach travel has been offered for Canaries fans in the hope of providing some support at the Royals' 24,000-capacity Madejski Stadium – in what could prove to be the final game of the campaign for City's youngsters.
The development squad completed their Premier League Two fixtures with a 0-0 draw against Brighton at Carrow Road on Monday night, finishing bottom of the Division Two table.
It is the cup competitions where City's U23s have enjoyed success, reaching the knockout stages of the Checkatrade Trophy and the semi-finals of the Premier League International Cup, and interim boss Matt Gill admits the tie (a 1pm kick-off) is of huge importance to his players.
'It's a great game for them to be involved in, obviously a cup semi-final at the Madejski which will be a good occasion for the boys to play in and they're really looking forward to it,' said Gill. 'I'm sure it will be a really competitive game. The International Cup was another semi-final, unfortunately we didn't see that one through, which is great for these boys to have another semi-final to take what they learned from the International Cup.
'We've had help from some of the senior boys in a few of the games to give the boys some help, when they're coming back from injuries and things. So that's helped but we're looking forward to Sunday and another opportunity to get to a final.'
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Right-back Louis Ramsey should be fit for the game but playmaker Todd Cantwell is doubtful and midfielder Louis McIntosh is also ruled out.
With some U23 players trying to earn new contracts, the chance to shine in a final would be crucial.
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'The last few weeks we've made sure we've had the right mentality,' added Gill, who is overseeing the U23s alongside academy manager Richard Money. 'We've made sure we got everything possible from every day. Lots of the boys are fighting for contracts, that's part and parcel of being a footballer I'm afraid but they've been coping with it well, making sure they maximise their time at the training ground and doing whatever they possibly can to win one.'
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