Norwich City's Daley on goal trail

PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:32 10 September 2010

David Cuffley

Luke Daley believes a first senior goal for Norwich City is the one big hurdle he needs to overcome to feel truly at home in first team football.

The 19-year-old forward was today hoping for a third successive start as the Canaries visited Gillingham in League One, after being named in manager Paul Lambert's eleven for the games against two of the early pacesetters in the division, MK Dons and Charlton.

Luke Daley believes a first senior goal for Norwich City is the one big hurdle he needs to overcome to feel truly at home in first team football.

The 19-year-old forward was today hoping for a third successive start as the Canaries visited Gillingham in League One, after being named in manager Paul Lambert's eleven for the games against two of the early pacesetters in the division, MK Dons and Charlton.

But hitting the net would be the best possible tonic for Daley as he seeks to establish himself in the side.

He went closest yet against Charlton last Saturday when his diving header from Simon Lappin's cross flashed past the post, but after a Carrow Road hat-trick in a reserve team friendly against Arsenal last season, he is still bidding to get off the mark at senior level.

“That would be such a big boost for me. Hopefully if I get the first goal more would keep coming after that,” said Daley.

“I think if I can get myself in amongst it a bit more and create a few more chances then I'll get a few, hopefully.”

Daley, who now has nine senior appearances under his belt, is one of a trio of teenagers to have featured regularly since Lambert took over as manager nearly six weeks ago, along with midfield pair Korey Smith and Tom Adeyemi.

“We have also played together in the youth teams so we know how each other plays maybe a bit better than the other players, but we help each other through it well. We push each other on so it's really good,” he said.

“It's going really well, I'm enjoying it. I did well the first few sessions when the new gaffer came in, impressed, and it's good to have been around the team since then.

“I think every game I'm improving, confidence is getting better. I believe after a few more games I will keep on improving and progressing. I know ability wise I'm there, the manager believes in me, so it's just about building on the confidence and making myself a better player.”

The youngster from Northampton has been used in a wide right position in the last two matches, but is accustomed to a central role.

He said: “I'm strong in both positions - as long as I'm playing I'm happy. My pace is one of my strongest assets, so I just have to make sure I use that, continue to work in training and to improve, and work on how I can cause teams problems.”

With three league games in eight days - City entertain Leyton Orient on Tuesday and Bristol Rovers on Saturday - Lambert knows the schedule will test his younger players.

“We will put the same eleven out if they win every game, but very rarely does that happen,” he said. “I know Charlton have done it week in, week out, but three games will take its toll, especially if you get injuries.

“But we don't have the biggest squad. Some of these young kids haven't even kicked a ball in earnest so it will test the squad, that's for sure. I think the momentum and enthusiasm and being youthful will carry them through.”

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