Norwich U21s 3-1 Spurs - Ugo's verdict
15 October 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Ugo Ehiogu took plenty of positives from our Under-21s performance in defeat at Norwich City on Tuesday night.
A young team - two players made their debuts at U21 level - went toe-to-toe with a Canaries line-up that included first team regulars Gary Hooper and Elliott Bennett and nine players who had played league football either for City or on loan.
One of our debutants was Christian Maghoma, just 16, who found himself up against striker Hooper, who played Champions League football and scored 82 goals in 137 matches for Celtic.
Norwich took an early lead via a deflected header and doubled it via Cameron King but having created as many chances as the home team before the break, we hit back with Cristian Ceballos’ fine strike on 56 minutes.
It looked like we might get something out of the game only to be hit by a sucker-punch third Norwich goal scored by King on 70 minutes and it ended 3-1 in front of a league record 10,405 attendance at Carrow Road.
“They brought the big guns out and it was always going to be a challenge for us,” reflected coach Ugo.
“Christian Maghoma made his debut aged 16 at centre-half up against the experience, firepower and know-how of someone like Gary Hooper and we finished the game with six scholars.
“It was a very young team up against 600 games of league experience in that Norwich team, a lot of know-how, a lot of game knowledge
“Could our players handle it? We knew their know-how was going to be tested.
“I thought they pulled us about a bit in the first half but the character we showed, the fight and the quality to get back into it was very pleasing.
“We spoke about a few things (at half-time) and they responded well.
“I thought at 2-1 there was a chance. We were fairly on top, fairly comfortable and we were carving out opportunities. We threatened and had pace that unsettled them.
“It’s just a shame that we had chances to keep possession for their third goal and we were undone by sloppy play.
“The result was disappointing but I was pleased with our players.
“We’ve four or five players away on international duty so we had to plug a few gaps but it gave players the opportunity to impress and they did that.”