Norwich City v Chelsea
The FA Youth Cup
The Final first leg
7.45pm, Monday 29 April 2013
Carrow Road, Norwich City FC
Live on ITV4
By Nicholas Veevers
Neil Adams is hoping Norwich City’s ‘unbelievable’ support can help inspire his players in The FA Youth Cup Final.
The young Canaries have home advantage in Monday’s first leg against Chelsea, with a crowd approaching 20,000 expected at Carrow Road.
And after seeing the effect which the fans had on his side’s Semi-Final performance against Nottingham Forest, boss Adams is looking for a similar atmosphere on Monday.
He told TheFA.com: “It was something the players commented on after the Semi-Final, just how much it did help them.
“They got behind us as though it was a first-team game and created a superb atmosphere.
“The more fans we can get into Carrow Road for us the better, because we know the support is guaranteed.”
Norwich were cheered on by over 9000 against Forest, when they were reduced to ten men and 1-0 down against Forest after a first-leg victory at the City Ground.
But they took the game through extra-time before a dramatic penalty shoot-out win secured their place in The Final against Chelsea.
Former Canaries midfielder Adams added: “It’s been a tremendous run for us, I’ve been delighted with the response from the players to what we’ve asked of them tactically and technically.
“And we know we have a good group of players here, but to reach The FA Youth Cup Final is something that we’re really proud of.
“We’re pleased with their progress but realise there is still a job to be done and improvement needs to be made by all of the players.”
Norwich go into the game as underdogs against current Youth Cup holders Chelsea, who beat Liverpool in the other Semi-Final.
But with the backing of a passionate crowd and his team’s own experience of playing at Carrow Road, Adams knows anything is possible.
“We could have an advantage there because I think every player in our squad had already played at Carrow Road before this Cup run,” he explained.
“That definitely helps us, but to play in front of 10,000 people in the Semi-Final was something they took to really well and they used that positive support to their advantage and hopefully that can spur us on again.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of coaches and we’re often left puzzled as to why some players don’t play as well in front of a big crowd as they do on the training ground on a Saturday morning.
“And we don’t know the effect that might have on Chelsea, who are a team that we really respect.”
Norwich City v Chelsea