- Leicester City’s Under-18s defeated Norwich City 7-0 in Seagrave on Saturday
- Kian Pennant (3), Chris Popov (2), Joe Wormleighton and Jack Butterfill were on the scoresheet
- Coach Adam Barradell felt it was a complete performance with the correct mentality
- The young Foxes are now unbeaten in six and sit third in Premier League U18 south
The young Foxes headed into the clash with the Canaries on a five-game unbeaten run and extended that streak in stunning fashion at LCFC Training Ground to remain third in the Premier League U18 South standings, level on points with leaders Chelsea after matchday 10.
Norwich, meanwhile, have won just once in the league in 2021/22 and sit at the other end of the league table, but there was no complacency from Leicester's youngsters as they began on the front foot and raced into a three-goal lead after 13 minutes, much to Barradell’s delight.
Joe Wormleighton broke the deadlock inside 60 seconds to set Leicester on their way and, even though the result was beyond doubt at half-time, City came out for the second half and delivered a complete performance, adding further goals to their tally, including Jack Butterfill’s 90th-minute strike.
“The performance was outstanding from the players right from the start of the game,” City’s coach reflected to LCFC.com after full-time. “From the preparation to the warm-up, the players’ mentality surrounding the fixture was outstanding and that showed from the start we had in the game.
It’s so important to us that we build everything on our defensive organisation, being solid, being compact and pressing as one team. If we get that right, everything else follows.Adam Barradell LCFC.com
“We scored in the first minute and then continued to push on and did not settle for anything else. The intensity in our passing was fantastic from the start of the game onwards.
“I was really pleased with the concentration from the boys after they scored the first couple of goals, which we’d spoken about from the previous fixtures when we’d scored and then lapses in concentration had let the opposition back in, but on Saturday the boys were excellent around that.”
Kian Pennant's hat-trick continued his impressive goalscoring record of eight goals in 10 league fixtures, while Chris Popov netted a seven-minute brace, taking his tally to seven for the season.
Barradell believes the impressive attacking displays from the team in recent weeks demonstrate the quality they have at their disposal throughout the age groups.
“They were so clinical in front of goal,” the 35-year-old commended. “It’s great to have Kian [Pennant] score a hat-trick, Chris [Popov] nearly got a hat-trick and Jack Butterfill also got a goal again, so it’s great to have all three strikers in the goals.
Chris Popov & Kian Pennant
The young Foxes' strike force have been in scintillating form across the opening 10 fixtures of the season.
“Certainly with those individual performances and the team performance, they will be knocking on the door of the Under-23s, which is great for both them and the Club.”
Recording another shut-out at the weekend, City have conceded the joint-fewest goals in the division so far this term - 11 in 10 games - and Barradell was pleased to see a return to their defensive solidity following a 3-3 draw with West Bromwich Albion.
He added: “It’s so important to us that we build everything on our defensive organisation, being solid, being compact and pressing as one team. If we get that right, everything else follows from that, so it’s something that the boys feel really strongly about.
“They wanted to keep that clean sheet and, going into the next games, especially with it being two cup games, the Premier League Cup and then the FA Youth Cup, that’s going to be so important for their performances.”
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