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The under-23s play their final home game of the season against Norwich City this afternoon and for the third home game in succession the game will be played at Curzon Ashton, our home venue during the three years we played in the Professional Development League.

We moved to the Lancashire FA at Leyland this season but just seven of our twelve home games will have been played there with two moved to Gawthorpe and the three most recent games back at the Tameside Stadium.

We go into today’s game in third place but needing points to try and ensure a top five position. It’s a first home game since beating West Brom 3-1 on the first day of March. We’ve since lost away games at West Brom and Sunderland which have sandwiched away wins at Aston Villa and Fulham and after today’s game we have away games at Reading in four days time before the final game at Leeds which will be played three weeks today.

The away game at Norwich last November ended in a 0-0 draw, with Joel Mumbongo failing from the penalty spot, and our opponents go into today’s game third from bottom. They are seven points behind us but with two games in hand. Today’s game will be their first for three weeks, that last one being a 1-0 home defeat against Newcastle with them conceding a stoppage time goal.

Coach Steve Stone looks as though he has a strong side for today’s game. He said: “We want to finish this season off strongly. They have got themselves in this position and it’s in their hands. And the team we’re putting out should be capable of competing over the next three games. We’re looking forward to it.

Kick off today at Curzon Ashton is 2 p.m.

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