Spurs 1-2 Norwich U21s - Ugo's verdict
11 March 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Ugo Ehiogu pulled no punches in his assessment of our Under-21s’ defeat to Norwich City at White Hart Lane on Friday night.
First-half goals from Jamal Lewis and Ray Grant set the Canaries on the way to a 2-1 victory as we struggled to get going after an early miss from Will Miller in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League contest.
Chances were few and far between and after Benny Ashley-Seal hit the post for the visitors, we were reduced to 10 men when captain Kyle Walker-Peters picked up two bookings within 45 seconds of each other.
Miller did hit the target two minutes from time after good work from substitute Marcus Edwards and that lifted players and fans alike as we sought a late leveller, but it wasn’t to be.
“Unfortunately we were second best on the night,” reflected Under-21s Coach Ugo as he summed up the performance. “The biggest thing was that we didn’t play like we know we can – there was no penetration, not enough control and not enough passes strung together.
“In the last 10 minutes we had a go, scored, but it’s an extremely disappointing day at the office. We’re privileged to play at White Hart Lane in front of the fans, but it’s disappointing for the boys because we didn’t respond and we couldn’t find that extra level.
“The boys have worked hard, they’re an honest bunch but we weren’t smart enough when it came to a competitive battle against our opponents and we came out second best.”
Young attacking midfielder Edwards was influential in the build-up to our goal, having come on as a half-time substitute for centre-half Christian Maghoma. Ugo explained the thinking behind the switch: “It was a bit of both – tactical and medical. We needed to change, we never looked like scoring and we looked vulnerable so something had to be done. There could have been four or five that we could have changed but Mags also had a wound that opened up.
“We looked more of a threat after the break and Marcus has made an impact when he’s come on. There’s still some off-the-ball work that Marcus needs to do but that’s an ongoing project for him. He had an effect on the game but I think that’s probably just a quarter of what he’s capable of.
“It’s got to be a big learning curve for the boys tonight. We go again, though. The players have got to get rid of the disappointment and try to find another level of performance.”