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."