Norwich City sporting director Ben Knapper believes academy productivity is central to the club's strategy, despite David Wagner's seeming reluctance to blood young players.

The Canaries head coach has been heavily criticised for his preference for experience, with cup competitions used to give game time to the likes of Adam Forshaw and Danny Batth rather than prospects from the club's under-21s.

City top goalscorer Jonathan Rowe has flourished in the Championship this term, but Jaden Warner is the only academy graduate to make his debut this season before he was sent on loan to Notts County.

Knapper says the pathway from youth teams to senior football is vital for Norwich, however, highlighting its importance in his long-term vision.

"It's something that is central to our strategy," he said. "We're blessed here. We've got a fantastic academy that has a demonstrable history of producing players, and that is something that we absolutely want to continue.

"The emergence of Jonny Rowe has been fantastic, but there are other really talented young players, some that we've now secured on long-term contracts.

"We've got young players that are developing out on loan in a really promising way, and an absolute priority for me is to make sure that they get the opportunity.

"Of course they have to have the quality and they have to take that opportunity. But we want to be a club that continues to give young players a chance, like this club consistently has in the past."

The former Arsenal loans manager hopes January work to clear the first team of deadwood will help provide the opportunities those young players need, and claims the benefits are already being felt.

"The group actually looked quite heavy," he continued. "We were naming squads with three or four players that weren't even in the matchday group.

"That was something that I was keen to address in January for a couple of reasons: to make sure that we could be more efficient with our resource, but also because that helps to open up pathways for young players as well.

"In the last few weeks there's a greater presence of young players training every day. I think that's a really positive step that hopefully can lay the foundation for that pathway to be prevalent going forward."