Walks experience offers City youngsters the right education
- Credit: Ian Burt Photography
Adapting to surroundings like The Walks will play a pivotal role in the futures of Norwich City's youngsters, according to U23 boss Alan Neilson.
The Canaries have reached an agreement with King's Lynn Town to play 10 Premier League 2 Division 2 matches in West Norfolk, starting on Monday with a 5-2 defeat to West Brom.
Each member of the young City squad is hoping to be the next off the academy production line which has born plenty of fruit in the last few seasons. Despite the obvious success, the ex-Luton Town caretaker boss is acutely aware of how many young players fail to make the grade.
"We know the stats. Most of these players aren't going to play in our first team, they will be playing for other teams. Some of them will fall out of the Football League and play at this level. They've got to be able to adapt to it.
"I'm trying to create good people, not just good players. If they work hard at everything they do and push themselves, then I'm happy. I've always said that players drive themselves. It's them who have a real desire to reach the very top.
"We're a category one academy. I've been here for six years and we've always been that. We try and produce players for the first-team, it doesn't matter whether that is for the Championship or the Premier League.
"We're just trying to give them the opportunity, it's up for the players to grasp it."
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City have had a strong start to their season and defeat to West Brom saw them squander the chance to move to the top of their league table ahead of welcoming early pacesetters Fulham to the Walks on Friday.
There may be plenty of positivity surrounding their early season performances, but they have now conceded nine goals in their last three matches. Although that is a byproduct of how they attempt to play, Neilson has urged his squad to show more fight on the pitch.
"The way we try and play, we will make mistakes," Neilson admitted after the 5-2 defeat.
"It's the first time they've let themselves down this season, I would say. Especially second half where they didn't scrap hard enough or try and win their battles. We said in pre-season that the team who wins their battles tend to go on to win the game.
"We have ability in this team, but it's no good having that if you don't have the heart and desire to win the battle."