Neil Adams - Norwich City must move through the gears at Braintree
© Archant Norfolk 2014
Neil Adams wants his Norwich City players to up the ante in Tuesday’s pre-season trip to Conference Premier Braintree Town (kick-off 7.45pm).
The Canaries’ chief was satisfied with a physical workout in testing conditions at Dereham with Kyle Lafferty settling a tight affair at Aldiss Park and Adams is keen to build on some encouraging signs. City’s 21-man squad against the Magpies will be boosted by the additions of Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Martin Olsson and Republic of Ireland duo Anthony Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan.
The Norwich boss is keen to retain his mix-and-match approach against a side who finished just outside the play-offs last season.
“We’ll take a big group again and look to give them minutes,” he said. “The physios indicated everyone seemed to be fine so those four or five other lads will come back in for Braintree and we’ll go with two sides again. Yes, we expect it to be a step up on all levels and that is how it should be. We’ll then take it on again in Italy and finishing with Nice and Celta Vigo is a good standard opposition to get us ready for when it really matters.”
Andrew Surman’s versatility saw the midfielder deployed on the left of a diamond against Dereham before returning for the final 30 minutes in a left-back role. Surman was deemed surplus to requirements by Chris Hughton last season and loaned to Bournemouth but Adams is urging him to take his chance in the coming weeks to try and force his way into City’s Championship plans. The 27-year-old is one of a clutch of senior players entering the final year of their current Carrow Road deals.
“He has come back in excellent condition. Of course we have seen him play on that left corner of a diamond a few years ago and play it well,” said Adams. “He has a superb left foot and put some decent balls through in that first half and then he showed his versatility going on at left-back.
“We brought 21 players to Dereham and they need to make me feel, ‘Yes, I like what I see there’ during this period. If they are in the plans then of course we need to sit down with those lads.”