Joy-riders’ given a tough message
Chris Lakey Glenn Roeder says two of Norwich City's bright young hopes have been guilty of taking it too easy and has warned them there will be no more joy-riding at the club's expense.
Glenn Roeder says two of Norwich City's bright young hopes have been guilty of taking it too easy and has warned them there will be no more joy-riding at the club's expense.
The Canaries boss has wielded the axe on both Chris Martin and Michael Spillane who, a year ago, were being heralded as stars of the future.
And while he insists both have a future at Carrow Road, his message is clear - this is a whole new ball game.
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Martin has been the biggest casualty of Roeder's hard-line approach - his last first team game was two and a half months ago, during which time he has suffered the ignominy of being dropped to the Under-18s and then watching as a host of young loan players have come in to the club.
On Tuesday he was leapfrogged by 18-year-old second year Academy player Luke Daley, who came out of nowhere to earn a place on the bench for the first time.
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“He's a little bit down the pecking order,” said Roeder. “He's lost a little bit of weight, he working harder than he has done for a long time - he's going to have to be patient.
“He has had it too easy - young players here have had it too easy. Spillane's the same. They have been told too many good things about themselves and it's done them no good at all. They need to be a bit more hungry.”
Spillane was on the bench against Stoke in midweek - but he hasn't started a game since the FA Cup third round defeat at Bury in January. Between them, Martin and Spillane have featured only five times under Roeder, who has used the influx of young loan players from Premiership clubs as an example of the sort of commitment he expects.
“We have bought young players here from other clubs who are miles better,” Roeder said.
“They have got to work hard if they want to stay at Norwich. They have got to work harder than they have done in the past. I think they have thought for too long this is a joyride here - it's not.
“Both him (Martin) and Spillane have both got futures - at the moment it's in their hands, not mine.”
Jason Shackell, 24, is the most recent homegrown player to command a regular place in the Norwich City first team - almost five years after his debut, and Martin and Spillane are generally considered to be next in line.
Daley is not expected to figure on a regular basis, while Bally Smart still needs building up physically, as does Damon Lathrope, who signed a two-and-a-half-year pro contract in January
“They are the main two - there is no one else really close to the first team,” said Roeder. “Damon - if he gets into the first team squad before Christmas that's his goal. Damon has the football brain but not the body to go with it.”