Tough calls all part of the job for Norwich City boss Neil Adams
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Neil Adams is loving the pressure of Premier League management as he strives to plot Norwich City’s escape.
Adams still awaits his first points since replacing Chris Hughton but the FA Youth Cup winning coach has underlined his ruthless streak with the likes of Seb Bassong, Anthony Pilkington and Johan Elmander all yet to feature. Wes Hoolahan has also had a limited chance to impress under the new boss but Adams is confident the entire squad are desperate to achieve the same objective.
“I think I am coping with it really well. Obviously you wait to see what you get back in training and games and what I have had from the players has been fantastic,” he said. “We would have swapped the performances for wins and points but people can see we are going to give it a good go. Your man-management is key. You can’t just pick 11 players and ignore the rest. You need them all.
“One thing those players not involved deserve is respect. If they are not being picked you tell them why and give them that respect. That is what I wanted as a player. It is more than picking a team, you are dealing with lads not involved, lads who might be injured and so on. Players are never going to be happy if they are not playing. In that respect you can only keep 11 happy every week, but if you keep them informed and the reasons why – whether they agree with them or not – then you have done it the right way.”
Adams has opted to hold back Elliott Bennett following his recovery from knee ligament surgery but the midfielder is now a frontline option ahead of this weekend’s trip to Manchester United.
“He is as good as there now. He is a fantastic young man, but he had a terrible injury,” said Adams. “An ACL rupture is one of the worst injuries you can get. He would have told you he felt ready as soon as he was back out training, but you have to be careful. They have to get the minutes in and he has had nearly three-and-a-half games at development level so he is available now. There are no worries at all with his fitness.”
Adams’ focus may be on first team matters and City’s relegation battle but he is also heavily involved in decisions affecting the club’s academy talent. Cameron McGeehan has been part of Luton Town’s promotion success in the Conference Premier, but Adams insisted yesterday reports the Hatters want to keep McGeehan have yet to reach him.
“I’m sure they would be keen to keep him on a longer term basis. He was my captain for the FA Youth Cup win and he was fantastic,” he said. “He went to the right club in Luton. We didn’t pitch him into a Championship or League One club but instead he joined a really good side on the up and it has benefited him. He has had a good season, won promotion, has a medal so I believe Luton would be interested in him. I have not had any contact with Luton. Whether that is the way they want to go remains to be seen but he has certainly not done himself any harm by going out and playing regularly and doing well.”