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U23 play-off preview: Christian Marques eager to shake off Wolves cup disappointment

Captain Christian Marques is hoping to put his Premier League Cup agony behind him as Wolves Under-23s face Norwich in their play-off semi-final at Molineux tonight.

Christian Marques (Getty)
Christian Marques (Getty)

The 19-year-old missed his spot-kick as Wolves threw away a 2-1 lead to lose the cup final on penalties to rivals Albion on Friday night.

But the landmark fixtures keep coming as Wolves now face Norwich in a one-legged semi-final tonight, as they chase promotion to Premier League 2 Division One – and Marques and his team-mates are looking to put the cup disappointment behind them.

“After the game it affected a few of the players, even myself,” he said.

“We have been playing so well and training really hard and we had a chance – I think we deserved that win.

“How we played that night, we gave everything and it didn’t go our way, but that’s football.

“Like the gaffer James Collins has said, it’s already over and now we have to focus on promotion. That’s the next step. We’re focused on beating Norwich.

“We’ve been through it now and know what it takes to win a game, know what it takes if it goes to extra-time. We lost on penalties but we’ve practised them again and we’re ready to go.

“We’re playing well, went on a long unbeaten run, got to the Premier League Cup final and now the play-offs – it’s been a strong second half of the season for myself and the whole team.

“It’s been a really enjoyable second half of the season for everyone at the football club.”

Wolves travelled in their numbers on Friday night as 2,000 fans created a lively atmosphere at The Hawthorns.

Playing back on their home turf, Marques hopes to see a good turnout of supporters to help the young side get over the line.

He added: “I think the fans will help us. Getting them behind us will always motivate us.

“In the cup final we had 2,000 fans, which was unbelievable, and they pushed us throughout the whole game.

“To be at home in our stadium, with our fans, I just hope we deliver a fantastic night.

“Every player likes to play with a crowd. They were unbelievable that night, so if we can get that support again it will be amazing.”

Norwich offer an interesting challenge as they finished three places behind Wolves in the Division Two table, but beat them 5-0 in November, before Wolves exacted revenge with a 2-0 win in April.

“If you get to the play-offs it will always be different, as some players could come from back loans and play,” Marques said.

“We are ready because we know what it takes. I didn’t play the 5-0 loss at home to them because I was on-loan, but I’ve had time to watch Norwich and which strikers and midfielders we may play.

“We have a fantastic team and have shown in the last 12 games how good we are. We can’t wait for the game to give a reaction.”

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