Match report: Norwich City 2-2 Arsenal U-18s
Ken Gillard was full of praise for Sam Greenwood after he scored twice in our 4-3 FA Youth Cup victory over Brighton & Hove Albion.
In a match that swung back and forth, Greenwood opened the scoring when reacting quickly to slam home a rebounded effort, before keeping his cool by slotting home a penalty on the stroke of half-time.
We spoke to our head coach at full time and this is what he said:
on the performance…
It was a good game, first and foremost. I thought both teams showed some good sides and some bad sides, there were some good goals and it went back and fourth a little bit. I thought we showed great character which is what we asked for, particularly after Saturday because I thought it was a poor result for us. I know there was a lot of changes and we wanted the boys to really put in a shift today and put in an effort, and I thought overall again we had chances, they had chances as well, but I thought we edged it overall. I was really pleased for the lads.
on the character in the side…
They kept going and that’s really important. We tried to talk about the game management and managing it in chunks so every 15 minutes, and different phases of the game. We’re a young side as well and people don’t realise there were young boys out there and Brighton had a lot of second years out there so that will stand them in good stead going forward. We showed good quality as well it wasn’t just character, I thought at times in the first half we cut them open a little bit at times, passed through them really well and took our goals really well. Sam Greenwood upfront I thought played really well, led the line really well for us. He worked tirelessly up there for us and as we had to make substitutions late on, players had to fill in different positions. There were three or four players out of position at the end but that’s all part of it as well, doing a job for the team.
on Sam Greenwood’s performance…
I thought he was very good. I thought his hold up play was very good. He caused them problems, ran in-behind and chased down so he gave a really good performance and took his goals well and he could have had another one as well. Could have had one or two going through but I was really pleased for him because he does work very hard so I’m very pleased for him.
on the tournament so far…
Every game is totally different. I look back over the years and we got beat by Blackburn here recently when Reiss Nelson got sent off after a heavy challenge. That was in the third round, you look at that man for man, that squad and those group of players you thought they were a better squad than this competition. This competition gives you so many different challenges, playing against different types of opposition. The biggest thing for me is that you never know where this competition is going to end up so you have to concentrate on winning the game and it puts a little bit of pressure on them and a lot of it is about development and there is a bit of pressure on them. We wanted them to go and win the game today, which is slightly different than usual because the performances are probably more important than results but in this game today we said ‘we want to go out and win this whatever it takes.’
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