‘Please be careful with this young lad‘ - Farke’s Idah plea ahead of United
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Norwich City chief Daniel Farke knows the hype will go into overdrive if Adam Idah serves up a Premier League encore at Manchester United.
The 18-year-old striker earned rave reviews for his stunning hat-trick in the FA Cup 4-2 third round win at Preston.
Idah made the most of his shot at leading the line, with Teemu Pukki and Josip Drmic both injured. Idah will remain in the spotlight with the same duo still sidelined and Dennis Srbeny sold ahead of a daunting league trip to Old Trafford.
The Irishman is also set to be watched by Republic of Ireland assistant Terry Connor, amid a potential senior call up ahead of a crunch Euro2020 play-off in March.
"Please be careful with this young lad," pleaded Farke, speaking at Colney on Friday. "After Crawley there was people saying he is too far away from the Premier League. We supported him and backed him and of course at Preston he delivered.
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"I don't like the hype too much. It's a bit different when you face (Harry) Maguire or (Victor) Lindelof or whoever plays for United. We can't label Adam right now as a top class, quality striker after just one FA Cup game.
"He has had two minutes at Premier League level (against Crystal Palace) and he looked sharp.
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"What happened at Preston is good for his confidence and allows us to see that he can deliver on this level but I'm pretty sure Manchester United is also a different level.
"There are many topics where he has to improve but we are happy to have Adam and happy to work with him.
"We believe in his potential but let's not say the only hope we have to get something at Old Trafford rests on Adam Idah. We have some other threats as well."
Farke has spent the build up trying to take the pressure off the youngster who started this month set to head out on loan.
"The best way to handle such a situation is not to get too over-hyped when he performs and scores goals like he did at Preston," he said. "If I would be too over-excited or too nervous and start speaking with him each and every day or giving him advice it would make him more nervous.
"I'm not a big believer in playing mind games and because he has been praised a lot I have to criticise him.
"Adam is a good lad and everyone has been speaking about his potential since his youth days.
"He is well aware he has potential but he knows he has to work on different topics. My feeling is both feet are on the ground.
"Let's see what happens (on the loan front). There could be injuries or new signings. Adam grabbed his chance and we don't loan out our best players.
"If they deliver like Adam did then he is a long way from being loaned but let's see where Teemu or Josip are in terms of form and fitness by the end of January."
City need points to revive their fading survival hopes but Farke reiterated on Friday games at Old Trafford is what all the Championship toil was about.
"You want these type of games. To play against the best clubs, the best players in the world and to show that we are competitive and hopefully to show that we're even better," he said.
"I am a competitor as a head coach and although my playing days are now a long time ago I am greedy to perform. It's not just about enjoying the atmosphere, enjoying Old Trafford, we want to enjoy a good performance and a good result.
"We are not too respectful or looking at the big names on the shirt.
"It will be a different game (to the 3-1 defeat at Carrow Road) but what that game did show is how important it is you control their pace, control the speed of their counters. When they get in front they can beat the best teams, using their pace. That is a key topic.
"Another is if we can have periods of possession to exhaust them a bit. When you play at Old Trafford it won't be that easy in each and every minute to dominate the game, perhaps like against a lower league side in the cup."