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‘We have a real threat at the top of the pitch’ – Gill thrilled to see City U23s continue good form with Stoke win

PUBLISHED: 11:56 09 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:24 10 January 2018

Pierre Fonkeu was on target for City's U23s against Stoke. Picture: Ian Burt

Pierre Fonkeu was on target for City's U23s against Stoke. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

Hopes of a play-off push are growing for Norwich City Under-23s after Matt Gill’s side’s good form continued to stretch their unbeaten run to four matches.

Beating Stoke City 3-1 on Monday lifted the young Canaries to seventh and within five points of the top five in Division Two of Premier League Two.

Goals from Todd Cantwell, Pierre Fonkeu and Devonte Aransibia secured victory against the Potters, who were reduced to 10 men late in the first half at St George’s Park in Burton.

REPORT: Stoke City U23s 1 Norwich City U23s 3 – Young Canaries make extra man tell at FA’s headquarters

With right-back Max Aarons missing out through illness and Aransibia battling through the same problem, Gill was thrilled with his team’s efforts, which included Swindon Town midfielder Jordan Edwards, who is on a two-week trial.

“In spells, we looked really good and I’m really chuffed with some of the performances,” Gill said. “We looked like a real threatening team. We need to do that more often. We need to carry on doing what gives us success.

“I’m really pleased to come away from home and play the way we did. It was a long journey and a great experience for the lads to play in great facilities at St George’s Park.

“As a coach you always want more but I’m chuffed that we got some success tonight in certain areas.”

The win adds to a 1-1 draw at Brighton and a 1-0 win at Middlesbrough, as well as a 1-0 win at Bury in the PL Cup.

Belgian striker Fonkeu took his goal tally to three in 14 games while playmaker Cantwell’s unusual goal, going straight in from a corner, was his fifth in 16 matches.

“We have a real threat at the top of the pitch,” Gill added, speaking to City’s website. “Pierre (Fonkeu), Tristan (Abrahams), (Kieran) Higgs, Glenn (Middleton) – we have some real pace up there. We also have cleverness in midfield with the likes of Dev and Todd (Cantwell).

“Aston (Oxborough) made some good saves and fair play to him for keeping his concentration. We tried to mix the play up a little bit and I’m pleased that we didn’t get too sloppy playing against ten.”

• City’s U23s are back in PL2 action at on Sunday, when they host Newcastle at Colney at midday.

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