Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe helps Norwich City U21s to impressive triumph
- Credit: Archant
Belgian midfielder Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe stepped up his injury comeback for Norwich City by playing the full 90 minutes of an impressive win for the club's under-21 side.
Goals from Josh Murphy and Jamar Loza, as well as a penalty save from goalkeeper Declan Rudd, secure a 2-1 victory over big-spending Manchester City in the Barclays U21 Premier League at Carrow Road.
Odjidja-Ofoe has not played for the Canaries first team since injuring his knee in October but is now looking on track to return to Championship action soon.
'Thankfully Vadis has had three games with us now and he's looked better every game,' U21s boss Paul Wilkinson said. 'I'm sure in the next week or two he'll be included back in the first-team squad at some stage, and hopefully he'll be ready for it.'
Over 7,000 supporters snapped up free tickets for the match, which saw the 25-year-old follow in the footsteps of Sebastien Bassong and Gary Hooper in benefitting from playing for the U21s – who are now unbeaten in five matches in their league.
Wilkinson added: 'The one thing I've said to my boys is that anyone that comes into our team, I want them to make them play because at the end of the day if we're at a level that I want them to be at, if the boys that come in don't try then they are going to look foolish. I want them to be at that level, that's the most important thing for me and the football club, and so far they've been fantastic.
'I've not had to question any single one of them and I don't expect to have to question any single one of them for the rest of the year because they are senior pros, and they know they are coming back to me for a reason and that's to get game time.
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'It's not punishment, it's just game time, and if they do it correct then there's every opportunity of getting back into that first team squad and getting minutes on the pitch because there's so many games coming up.'
The Murphy twins were at the heart of City's good play, with Jacob setting up his brother for the opening goal and Loza for the winner and looking lively following his recent loan spell in League One with Scunthorpe.
Josh was replaced in the 68th minute of the victory, with first-team manager Alex Neil watching from the stands, and Wilkinson was pleased with the duo's efforts.
'Jacob's been out on loan twice this year so he's got that experience now,' Wilkinson added. 'I watched him a couple of times when he was out on loan and he did well, you can't beat that experience of being around league football, and Josh has been in the squad and been on a couple of times this year and it's fantastic for them.
'They're still young boys, they've got every quality going really, it's just making sure they hone it in and do the other side of the game, which is the ugly side of the game as well, which we're working with them a lot on and we're telling them they've got to track back, you've got to get back into your shape.
'You've got to be able to do that, when you go into the first team you've got to be able to do that, it's important, they're coming along, they're working hard and the pair of them will benefit from this year.'