‘He learned a lot’ - Just watch Lewis fly now, insists Canaries boss
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Jamal Lewis will be a better player for the first setback of his Norwich City career.
The young left-back is set for an extended run in the side following Sam Byram's season-ending injury, after losing his place to the summer signing earlier in the campaign.
Lewis had been first choice for club and country, but Daniel Farke insists the Northern Irish international can reap the benefit.
"This was the first time he had this experience. He had to fight for his position and find this mental strength to not be too disappointed, or to doubt yourself," said the City head coach. "He had to stay mentally strong and to live another week and another week and another week. He had to show this feeling that I want to be professional, to prepare my mind and my body for this situation.
"To have this experience will definitely help him in his career, and I think that's one of the reasons why I really trust him that he comes back even stronger than before. Jamal is no different to any other player, in the sense they want to play each and every game, but in the mid and long term he might look back on this period as a crucial one to reach the next step in his career. I think he learned a lot during this time."
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Lewis returned in an emergency shift last time out at Carrow Road against Liverpool after Byram's first half hamstring injury.
"When a player like Sam is not available it's always bad news for the group. We don't just have to replace him for the remaining league games but hopefully many in the FA Cup," said Farke. "But in the two or three weeks before he came back against Liverpool Jamal was top class in training. I couldn't bring him in because all our full backs were delivering on a top level, Sam and Max (Aarons) on the other side. That was harsh on Jamal because for two years, since he first came into the side, he had played more or less every second.
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"The first time when I came here he was injured for a long time but then I remember after one or two weeks team training he came into the first team and played every second for us not only in the league games, also every cup game, every pre-season game.
"To be thrown in against Liverpool and asked to defend against (Mo) Salah, probably one of the best wingers if not the best in the world, said a lot about him."