One step at a time for City kids

Chris Lakey Norwich City's young guns have been told they have to learn to walk before they try to run.The second string's 4-2 victory over an equally youthful Arsenal reserves side on Tuesday has seen the inevitable call for some of the Canaries teenagers to be given free rein.

Chris Lakey

Norwich City's young guns have been told they have to learn to walk before they try to run.

The second string's 4-2 victory over an equally youthful Arsenal reserves side on Tuesday has seen the inevitable call for some of the Canaries teenagers to be given free rein.

But City boss Glenn Roeder insists the gulf between a reserve team friendly and a Championship match is too big for him to contemplate a first senior start for any of the six players he has tied to professional contracts.


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Tom Adeyemi is the latest of those and was on standby last weekend as part of the original 17-man squad - but he will stay behind today while City travel to Nottingham Forest. And what applies to him applies to all the others - including hat-trick hero Luke Daley.

"I thought he did really well against Arsenal the other night - they have all put in a good performance, but for me if I was to pick out one player it would be Tom," said Roeder. "He was definitely one player you could have put an Arsenal shirt on and he wouldn't have looked out of place.

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"Tom's only goal now is to play in Norwich's first team as quick as he can but it would be wrong to put him in at the moment.

"Hopefully come the end of the season, come April time, he would have progressed enough in terms of strength - because he is not strong enough to play at the moment.

"I have seen some good young players ruined by managers putting them in too soon. Beating Arsenal's young reserve team and playing Championship football are two different things."

Daley, he said, needs "to keep learning his trade in the youth team and some reserve team football", while he is hoping that Korey Smith, who didn't play in midweek, will emerge from the pack as a regular first team player.

"Korey Smith is a good young player as well, not quite the level of Tom, but I'm hopeful that Korey might be just one that pops out of the woodwork and is a pleasant surprise because he's a tough kid and he's got an amount of ability," said Roeder.

Kris Renton, City's youngest ever first team player, scored the other goal against the young Gunners, but, after suffering a broken leg a year ago, is still on the comeback trail.

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