Daniel Farke reveals the big downside to Jamal Lewis’ Northern Ireland call

PUBLISHED: 17:45 12 March 2018 | UPDATED: 18:03 12 March 2018

Jamal Lewis could be in line for his Northern Ireland debut later this month. 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Jamal Lewis could be in line for his Northern Ireland debut later this month. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Jamal Lewis is the poster boy for Norwich City’s bold approach after his first call up to the Northern Ireland international scene.

The 20-year-old has been a revelation at Carrow Road, since his senior breakthrough in December, and Lewis’ meteoric rise could now include a first cap in a Belfast friendly against South Korea later this month.

Head coach Daniel Farke insists it proves the Canaries are on the right track, with Northern Ireland chief Michael O’Neill labelling the youngster’s emergence as ‘phenomenal’.

“He is a brilliant lad and it is also a good sign our way works,” said Farke.

“Jamal is extraordinary and I am happy for him.

“For a young player his performance levels are extraordinary because normally it is a rollercoaster with good and bad performances.

“It shows you can create value with the development of academy players.

“If I think about the young players here, we have James Maddison on a top level for several months, Angus Gunn, again, very consistent and the same now with Jamal.

“When you spoke about James and his value last summer and now there is no comparison.

“Angus is a Manchester City player but again we are able to create value. We have to go this way to develop our starlets.”

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Lewis ironically had one of his toughest games against Hull City at the weekend, and Farke detects one downside to international recognition.

“We can live with one poor game. He has a lot of load, perhaps he is a bit tired,” he said.

“I was looking forward to him calming down in the international break but that doesn’t help so much with recovery.

“For a coach it is not the best solution but this is the greatest honour you can have to play for your country and we are so happy for him.”

Lewis’ defensive ally Grant Hanley has also been rewarded for his club form with a recall to the Scotland squad, alongside Russell Martin and Kenny McLean, for friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary.

“Since he arrived he has been outstanding in his performances and his leadership,” said Farke.

“He can improve even more. It is not the end of his developing.

“I am pretty sure he will have many, many good years for the national team.”

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