Francomb does Norwich City proud

Barnet manager Paul Fairclough today admitted he would love to have Norwich City youngster George Francomb back at Underhill if the chance came along.

The 19-year-old academy product has returned to Carrow Road after impressing during his three-month loan spell at the League Two side, where he made 15 starts for the Londoners. Francomb’s return will at least give City manager Paul Lambert some natural cover for first choice right-back Russell Martin.

However, Fairclough – who returned to the Bees hot seat following Mark Stimson’s sacking on New Year’s Day – acknowledged: “We’d have him tomorrow if he was going to be allowed to come out on loan again.

“From my perspective, having just come in, he is certainly the type of player I like because he’s a passing full-back, he wants to play, wants to get the ball down, wants to join in with the play, and I’ve enjoyed him being here.

“I would have liked the opportunity to work a little bit longer with him, but I do understand why he has been brought back and we’d just like to thank Paul Lambert and the Norwich staff for allowing him to come out. It was very good of them and he’s been a real ambassador for the club.


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“It is a big transition (from academy to first team football) but he’s got a good mental attitude towards the game, he’s obviously been taught good habits over at Norwich and he was good to have around the camp.”

Francomb’s first professional deal is set to expire in the summer – something Fairclough believes played a part in his return to Carrow Road.

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“How I understand it is he’s got six months of his contract left and the club sent him to us to get experience at league level,” added Fairclough. “They’ve gauged that and they are pleased with what’s happened, as I understand, and now they want to see it for themselves.

“I don’t know what the plans are for him and obviously we’re disappointed to lose him, but we understand the reasons why.”

Francomb’s return to Norwich leaves two members of Lambert’s professional squad, Tom Adeyemi and Cody McDonald, currently out on loan – and it will remain that way for both players for the rest of the season, it was confirmed yesterday.

Bradford City boss Peter Taylor has extended 19-year-old Adeyemi’s half-season stay until the end of the campaign, while McDonald was always scheduled to spend the whole season at fellow League Two promotion hopefuls, Gillingham, as part of the deal that took striker Simeon Jackson in the opposite direction.

Lambert said: “I’m more than happy for Tom to extend his stay at Bradford. He’s been playing really well for Bradford in his initial six months with them and I spoke with Peter recently who said he had done well.

“I’m sure that it will benefit both him and the club that he will now spend the rest of the season with Bradford.”

Taylor added: “Tom has been playing a little bit out of position to be fair, and Saturday was hard for him. He didn’t get the ball enough and I wanted to bring Mark Cullen on for the second half. Somebody had to be sacrificed.

“But Tom is absolutely fine. He has had some tremendous games and some not so tremendous ones – but you could say the same about everybody. He is learning the game and he will be a good player.”

• AND HERE’S THE LOWDOWN ON HOW CITY’S OTHER LOAN PLAYERS ARE DOING...

How the local football correspondents see the performances of Norwich City’s two current loan stars...

• Medway Messenger’s Luke Cawdell on Cody McDonald (20 appearances, 11 goals; contracted to City until June 2012):

“He’s getting better by the week. When he first came he picked up an ankle injury that held him back quite a bit, but since then he’s come on stronger and stronger and he’s really got that eye for goal.

“He’s not the polished gem – he is probably missing as many as he is scoring. But he’s worked well with Adebayo Akinfenwa and played up on his own on Saturday and got his first professional hat-trick (at Stockport), so he’s shown he can adapt.

“People have been saying who would you prefer: Cody or Simeon? It’s really hard to call, but Gillingham have certainly got a good deal out of it at the minute – they’ve traded a decent striker, got some decent money and another decent striker back.

“The Gills would love to keep Cody for longer, but he’s probably pricing himself out of their range. They would have to get promoted to stand a chance of that; if he keeps banging in the goals he will be top of their list. But if they’re in League Two I don’t think Cody will be sticking around, and who could blame him.

“He’s proven he’s a good player at this level.”

• Bradford Telegraph and Argus’ Simon Parker on Tom Adeyemi (20 apps, 2 goals; contracted to City until June 2012):

“When he has looked good, he has looked powerful on the ball, bombed into the box and looked a really bright prospect.

“Then there are some games when you don’t notice him – but that could be levelled at a lot of the players here.

“He is improving as a player. He has been played wide, when he is probably more effective down the middle. They have got someone in sitting role and another in the box-to-box role – and that is where Tom would probably fit.

“But he is learning his trade and there are the ups and downs that come with that, but he is worth persisting with and he shows good energy; they’ve been impressed with that.

“And Taylor would say he is learning a lot more with him than if he was sitting in Norwich’s reserves.”

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