Norwich City boss Chris Hughton is keen to play down Nathan Redmond hype
07:15 20 August 2013
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Chris Hughton is convinced Norwich City’s teenage midfielder Nathan Redmond will handle the hype that comes with starring for both club and country.
Redmond followed up his sparkling display in England Under-21s’ 6-0 romp over their Scottish counterparts with an eye-catching Premier League debut against Everton at the weekend.
The 19-year-old left Carrow Road with the sponsors’ man-of-the-match award after another cameo that added to his growing reputation. Hughton, however, is well aware part of his job now is to temper the inevitable clamour around his precocious summer signing.
“Yes, we have to manage that one,” he said. “Do I expect him to play a full Premier League? I probably don’t want him to play a full Premier League season.
“At the right times you want to be able to take him out. If he has, then he has done very well, but as young man he is not someone who has any fear or goes out there and doesn’t enjoy his football. He just wants to play and we’re delighted by his progress.
“I am very conscious of what this league is. It is unforgiving and we always have to make sure any young player who makes their way into the squad has to do it on merit and knowing how tough this league is. He showed what he is all about (against Everton). He will continue to go through a learning curve. He was certainly tested defensively against a full-back that at times played like a right winger, but he has an ability and we have got to make sure we harness that and get the best out of him.”
Hughton is confident the likes of Redmond, Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Leroy Fer will all prove their worth in the top flight.
“We certainly feel we have improved but we have to prove that on the football pitch,” he said. “If I look at the core of the squad it is still a very good one. We have lads who have been here a couple of seasons and our responsibility is to try and improve the group but you need that core who have been there, done it and can integrate the new players. We would like to think we have strengthened. I also know that the rest of the teams have done the same and that tells you what this league is all about. All the clubs have that same feeling in the sense we are trying to give ourselves the best possible chance.”