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U23s Match Preview: Newcastle United Vs Norwich City

Norwich City Under-23s make the gruelling five-and-a-half-hour trip to Newcastle for Monday’s Premier League 2 game (1pm KO).

Before the weekend, the Canaries sat proud in third place in the Premier League 2 Division 2 with four wins and three defeats from the first seven games.

Newcastle, meanwhile, sat six places lower, despite only being two points behind in what is turning out this season to be a very heavily congested division, courtesy of three wins, one draw and three defeats in their first secen matches.

Norwich are just one point off the topof the league, but David Wright’s U23 team have lost their last two league games to the two teams just above them - Middlesbrough and Leeds United.

After Norwich lost to a very experienced Leeds United side, Newcastle beat them 4-3 in their most recent league game, before losing to Bolton Wanderers’ first team in the Papa John’s Trophy. City also took a loss in their most recent group stage game of the tournament, narrowly beaten 1-0 by Cheltenham Town.

Under-23s midfielder William Hondermarck says the team have confidence in themselves going into this game against the Magpies after their performance against Cheltenham, despite the result not going their way.

“After the Cheltenham game, we were proud of how we performed, so we have a good bit of confidence coming into the game. The result didn’t favour us, but we were still happy with how we performed and how everyone played, especially after a couple of tough losses before that.

“It was good to have a performance that felt back to our ways, so that gave us confidence. The build-up to this game has been good, we’ve had a full week of training beforehand, so everyone is prepared. It’s been a good week.

Speaking on their position in the table, the midfielder insists the team’s points and place in the table are a by-product of their main focus, performing and developing.

“We mainly just know what we need to do, we know our philosophy, we know how we need to play and our principles to take into every game.

“Every now and then we look at the table and see how well we’re doing and look at the impact these games have on our position, but that’s secondary.

“The primary focus is always our principles and what we come to do. We know the results take care of themselves if we focus on the primary stuff.”

Finally, speaking on his own progression in the U23s, as well as his advanced position up the pitch compared to last season, Hondermarck credits the link to his teammates as the reason it all 'clicked'.

“Last year I was new, so I had a completely different role to what I’ve come into. Last year was more about getting used to it and gaining confidence in that other role. Now, I’ve got a link with the other players, I’ve known them for at least a year, so everything has just clicked this season."

 

Norwich City pair named in the Championship Team of the Week

Two of Norwich City’s table topping players have once again been named in the Championship Team of the Week, after the Canaries climbed to the top of the league with a 1-0 win away at Neil Warnock's Middlesbrough.

City number one Tim Krul and captain Grant Hanley have retained their places in the Team of the Week, having also been named in the divisional team following the 1-0 home win over Swansea prior to the international break.

The duo are joined by Lukas Rupp, Emi Buendia and Teemu Pukki into making it into one of the weekly divisional teams so far this season, which are decided by the EFL with assistance from the ratings of statistics website WhoScored.com.

Krul was nominated for the Championship Player of the Month award for October, alongside Daniel Farke being nominated for Manager of the Month, although both missed out on the awards.

It was Boro boss Neil Warnock winning the managerial award but it was Norwich who came out on top at the Riverside on Saturday thanks to a Pukki penalty, ending their 10-game unbeaten run as City extended their unbeaten run to eight matches thanks to a third consecutive clean sheet.

Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry is also named in the Team of the Week, after a succession of excellent blocks to deny Pukki, Rupp, Przemek Placheta and Marco Stiepermann during the game.

Championship Team of the Week (game week 12): TIM KRUL (NORWICH); Callum Brittain (Barnsley), GRANT HANLEY (NORWICH), Dael Fry (Boro), Callum Styles (Barnsley); Lewis Cook (Bournemouth), Carel Eiting (Huddersfield), Matt Grimes (Swansea); Cauley Woodrow (Barnsley); Kieffer Moore (Cardiff), Tyrese Campbell (Stoke)

Manager: Valerian Ismael (Barnsley)

Boro Manager Neil Warnock Angry With Referee After Home Defeat To Norwich

Neil Warnock was left fuming with referee Tony Harrington after Middlesbrough's defeat to Norwich City, describing his performance as 'Mike Riley Part II'.

In a tale of two penalties, Marcus Tavernier's missed spot-kick proved costly for Boro as Teemu Pukki went up the other end and despatched his to send Norwich top of the Championship.

But it was Harrington's decision not to send off Canaries left-back Jacob Sorensen that annoyed Warnock so much, with the Danish defender already on a booking when he fouled Sam Folarin.

After fighting his way through a crowd of bodies at the full-time whistle to make his feelings to Harrington clear, he then told the press after: "You need a bit of luck. When Sam goes past that kid on the far side on the far side with ten to go, and he doesn’t send him off for a second booking. It was worse than the first [yellow].

“He didn’t even book him. And for then for him to say to me after the game he didn’t think Sam was going to catch the ball, and the ball was only going to go ten yards maximum when you look at it back, 15 at most, and Sam will be through. Why is he telling me that? Because he knows he is completely wrong. They all know he should have got sent off.

“Why haven’t we got officials that know what they are doing. It is a disgrace.

 

Norwich's Max Aarons "To be sat top is brilliant for now but we just need to keep going"

Max Aarons says everyone at Norwich City is delighted with how the new crop of players have settled in so quickly.

City brought in plenty of fresh faces in the summer and after their victory over Middlesbrough on Saturday, they moved to the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

Speaking to canaries.co.uk after the match, Aarons said: “Before the season, it was a new group. We’ve had lots of new players and you never know how quickly players are going to gel. A lot of the boys are still learning.

“We’ve got a real good foundation and we know we’ve got the quality for this league. To be sat top is brilliant for now but we just need to keep going.

“We knew coming into the game it would be tough. We knew we wouldn’t have many chances.

“They’ve [Middlesbrough] only conceded one goal in like six or seven games and we knew it would be tough.

“We weren’t at our best in the first-half and for a large part of the second-half but it’s the days when you’re not at your best and you still win that makes you successful.”

Aarons was involved in the game’s decisive moment after being fouled by Hayden Coulson in the penalty area. Teemu Pukki went on to score from the spot and see City head home with all three points.

“I thought it was a definite penalty. I tried to come inside and play a one-two. My touch took the ball a bit away from me and I managed to nip in before the defender.

“I felt contact and I think it was a definite penalty. The boss [Daniel Farke] talks about forcing penalties like that and I think that’s one thing I can add to my game with my pace and getting into the box. It’s something I’ve been working on.”

Norwich's Daniel Farke "Three points and a clean sheet feels massive"

Norwich City went top of the Championship with their second consecutive 1-0 win at Middlesbrough on Saturday, and Daniel Farke was understandably impressed by what he saw.

Middlesbrough hadn’t been beaten since the first day of the season when they lost 1-0 to Watford at Vicarage Road, so to come away from the north east with three points and a clean sheet naturally had the boss in high spirits.

“It was important to make this game our game, without any doubt,” he told the club's official website “It says a lot about the size of the task that Middlesbrough is a tough place to go because they were eight games unbeaten in all competitions and in the last seven games they’d conceded just one goal.

“To travel back with three points and a clean sheet feels massive. You have to accept the style of Middlesbrough. They play men against men and you have to win the physical battles in the offense and defence.

“No other teams have won points against them here this season, so we’re pretty pleased we were capable of handling this.”

Middlesbrough were awarded a penalty early in the second half that Marcus Tavernier scored, albeit illegally. Referee Tony Harrington spotted that Tavernier had kicked the ball twice and ruled the goal out.

“I haven’t watched them back that carefully, but both scenes looked a bit clumsy, if I’m honest,” Farke said, referring to both penalties. “For the penalty against us, we lost the ball unnecessarily. Rupp made a great block in our box which deserved us to go away with a clean sheet, but we gave away the penalty.

“Their offensive players were more or less escaping away from our goal. Thank God it wasn’t a goal.

“On the other hand, it was a deserved penalty for us. Max was on the run away from the box, so a bit unnecessary, but both penalties were fair. Thank God Teemu kept his cool and was ice cold with his finish.

“It was crucial to use that situation against a side it’s so difficult to create chances against. We had quite a few in the first half - good shooting situations for Emi Buendia, Lukas Rupp and Marco Stiepermann.

“In the second half, Emi was almost on the end of a nice cross from Przemyslaw Placheta. I got the feeling we should have scored out of these situations, but if not, you have to use the penalty and we did.

“We defended everything with concentration and for that, it’s a big, big win for us.”

City defended resolutely as the second half went on, Grant Hanley in particular refusing to be beaten in the air with a number of clearances.

“They tried everything in order to change the game but we didn’t allow them many chances,” Farke said. “It was difficult because they played many long balls, brought many offensive players in and tried everything.

“I was pleased with our reaction. It was good game management in the last minutes.”

Look at the Championship table at the time of writing and you’ll see the Canaries on top of it, but Daniel Farke is the last person to get carried away by such statistics at this stage of the season.

“To be top of the league is always good for the mood, the confidence and the dressing room, but it’s not important where you are after 12 games, just where you are after 46 games,” he said.

“What is important is that we are there with many points already - that leaves us in a good position to build on.

“Sadly, we have many injuries at the moment and it didn’t look great today with Jordan, so we’ll have to wait for the assessment, but it’s important that during this difficult time you collect many points.”

Norwich Win 1-0 At 'Boro To Go Top Of The Legue

It was a tale of two second-half penalties at the Riverside Stadium as Norwich managed to make Middlesbrough's 10-match unbeaten run come to an end, with Teemu Pukki emerging from the bench at half time to hit the winner to lift Norwich top of the Sky Bet Championship with a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough had the first chance to take the lead from the spot early in the second half but Marcus Tavernier's costly slip when taking it, leading to a double touch, meant the opener was ruled out.

However, Finnish international striker Pukki made no mistake with 18 minutes remaining when he rolled into the bottom corner after Max Aarons was brought down by Hayden Coulson.

That was the first goal conceded by Boro in 452 minutes of football and Pukki's calmness was enough to extend the Canaries' unbeaten run to eight games.

Middlesbrough had the best opening of the first half when Norwich struggled to cause any real problems for Marcus Bettinelli in the home goal.

That was largely because when the visitors, who started with Teessider Jordan Hugill in attack, did push on they found a Middlesbrough defence too strong with Dael Fry excellent at the heart of it.

The nearest Norwich came to scoring was early on when Emiliano Buendia curled an effort from 22 yards just wide of Bettinelli's right hand post, there was also a Lukas Rupp effort that was wayward following a decent run inside, while Boro's Fry made an excellent block to deny Norwich's young Polish attacker Przemyslaw Placheta.

Aside from those it tended to be Middlesbrough doing the early pressing, even though Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul was hardly seriously tested either.

Former Boro defender Ben Gibson, back at the Riverside for the first time since leaving for Burnley in 2018, made a crucial block from a dangerous Djed Spence delivery just before the half hour.

After that there was a routine catch for Krul from a Jonny Howson header and another strong low stop by the Dutchman when Marvin Johnson drilled low from space 20 yards from goal.

The only other real talking point of that half was when Johnson was lucky to escape punishment for kicking out at Buendia, as the two tussled off the ball. Neither was booked.

Referee Tony Harrington was in the thick of things soon after the break too when he pointed to the spot after Gibson tripped Tavernier, however the Boro man's slip as he took the penalty resulted in the illegal double touch, meaning Norwich were awarded a free-kick despite the ball ending in the net.

The Canaries looked more dangerous after that. Buendia went close a couple of times and substitute Pukki shaved the side-netting before Warnock introduced young wingers Coulson and Sam Folarin.

With 18 minutes left Coulson tripped Aarons in the area and Norwich had their chance from the spot. Pukki, unlike Tavernier, found the net without complication for his fifth goal of the season, sending Bettinelli the wrong way.

Neither goalkeeper was posed many questions after that and Norwich did the job that was needed of them to secure the points and the top spot in the league.

Norwich Manager Daniel Farke "Three points and a clean sheet feels massive"

Norwich City went top of the Championship with their second consecutive 1-0 win at Middlesbrough on Saturday, and Daniel Farke was understandably impressed by what he saw.

Middlesbrough hadn’t been beaten since the first day of the season when they lost 1-0 to Watford at Vicarage Road, so to come away from the north east with three points and a clean sheet naturally had the boss in high spirits.

“It was important to make this game our game, without any doubt,” he told the club's official website “It says a lot about the size of the task that Middlesbrough is a tough place to go because they were eight games unbeaten in all competitions and in the last seven games they’d conceded just one goal.

“To travel back with three points and a clean sheet feels massive. You have to accept the style of Middlesbrough. They play men against men and you have to win the physical battles in the offense and defence.

“No other teams have won points against them here this season, so we’re pretty pleased we were capable of handling this.”

Middlesbrough were awarded a penalty early in the second half that Marcus Tavernier scored, albeit illegally. Referee Tony Harrington spotted that Tavernier had kicked the ball twice and ruled the goal out.

“I haven’t watched them back that carefully, but both scenes looked a bit clumsy, if I’m honest,” Farke said, referring to both penalties. “For the penalty against us, we lost the ball unnecessarily. Rupp made a great block in our box which deserved us to go away with a clean sheet, but we gave away the penalty.

“Their offensive players were more or less escaping away from our goal. Thank God it wasn’t a goal.

“On the other hand, it was a deserved penalty for us. Max was on the run away from the box, so a bit unnecessary, but both penalties were fair. Thank God Teemu kept his cool and was ice cold with his finish.

“It was crucial to use that situation against a side it’s so difficult to create chances against. We had quite a few in the first half - good shooting situations for Emi Buendia, Lukas Rupp and Marco Stiepermann.

“In the second half, Emi was almost on the end of a nice cross from Przemyslaw Placheta. I got the feeling we should have scored out of these situations, but if not, you have to use the penalty and we did.

“We defended everything with concentration and for that, it’s a big, big win for us.”

City defended resolutely as the second half went on, Grant Hanley in particular refusing to be beaten in the air with a number of clearances.

“They tried everything in order to change the game but we didn’t allow them many chances,” Farke said. “It was difficult because they played many long balls, brought many offensive players in and tried everything.

“I was pleased with our reaction. It was good game management in the last minutes.”

Look at the Championship table at the time of writing and you’ll see the Canaries on top of it, but Daniel Farke is the last person to get carried away by such statistics at this stage of the season.

“To be top of the league is always good for the mood, the confidence and the dressing room, but it’s not important where you are after 12 games, just where you are after 46 games,” he said.

“What is important is that we are there with many points already - that leaves us in a good position to build on.

“Sadly, we have many injuries at the moment and it didn’t look great today with Jordan, so we’ll have to wait for the assessment, but it’s important that during this difficult time you collect many points.”

Double International Break Injury Setback Confirmed For Norwich City

Norwich City will be without Bali Mumba and Adam Idah for around ten weeks after the pair picked up injuries over the international break.

The versatile Mumba, who is only 19-years-old, has had to be patient for his chance this season but he starred in the win over Swansea prior to the break. Meanwhile, Idah has played in seven league games this season, scoring once.

However, speaking to the press yesterday, boss Daniel Farke confirmed he will have to do without the duo until February.

Whilst the Canaries have a very big squad to choose from, this news is obviously not what the fans wanted to hear, particularly as Mumba had shown so much promise last time out. Similarly, there was a frustration that Idah picked up his knock whilst away with Ireland on international duty.