City boss warns young guns
DAVID CUFFLEY Manager Peter Grant has warned some of the younger members of his Norwich City squad that they may have jeopardised their chances of selection - by falling behind with their summer training.
Manager Peter Grant has warned some of the younger members of his Norwich City squad that they may have jeopardised their chances of selection - by falling behind with their summer training.
The Canaries returned to training at Colney yesterday after three days of fitness tests, and they play their first pre-season match at Exeter next Saturday.
But while Grant is delighted with the way most of his players have responded to the individual fitness schedules handed out by sports scientist Dave Carolan before the summer break, he admitted “one or two youngsters” had failed to keep up.
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Without naming names, he said: “It's a difficult one when you're left to your own devices, but they were all individual plans they were given and everybody apart from one or two youngsters has adhered to it every day.
“I'm delighted with the experienced players but one or two know they've got a bit of catch-up to do and they're the ones who could be starting off on the wrong foot.
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“When you give them one week off, they've maybe gone into 10 days or 11 days. They were only given a week, so that three or four days can make a big difference to them.
“The big thing is they'll see over the next few weeks when it comes to selection. If they're not up to speed they get left behind.
“We're not here to wait on people. We've put the plans in place, a lot of time and effort went into the plans and it's up to them to grab it. Time does not wait for you in football and they can't come knocking at the door and saying 'Why am I not this?' and 'Why am I not that?' They know the answer to that.
“They've got a lot of work to do now because they've started on the wrong foot and now they've got to work to get back among the boys. By the time they get there, the other boys will be moving on again, so it will be catch-up all the time for them.”
Nevertheless, Grant said the rest of his squad looked “fantastic”.
He said: “They're looking in great shape. They've worked tirelessly through the summer time. They're getting their rewards because they can get back into football a lot quicker. I think players are getting to understand now that they have to put that work in during pre-season.
“Yes, they can let their hair down for the odd day or two, but the most important thing now is they realise it's nearly 52 weeks of the year. They know they'll get left behind because players are a lot more professional.”