Hype will not hurt Jamal Lewis, insists Norwich City chief
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Daniel Farke has no fears Jamal Lewis will get carried away with the hype around his Norwich City breakthrough.
Lewis was excellent on his full debut for the Canaries in the 2-0 Boxing Day win at Birmingham after finally recovering from the pre-season knee injury that halted his meteoric rise.
The 19-year-old was rewarded with a longer term Carrow Road deal after impressing Farke and Stuart Webber in the summer.
City’s head coach knows the teenager is a special talent, but aims to keep him focused.
“It is important he keeps his feet on the ground and we don’t praise him too much – to keep him concentrated,” said Farke. “He deserves all the compliments. He was unbelievable (at Birmingham).
“We got the feeling during the pre-season Jamal was shining brightly and he got a really bad injury that meant we had to do without him for the first 22 games.
“Right now he is back, he now has his first appearance in the senior starting line-up and he looked solid. For a first performance it was really brilliant.
“In general it was important not only for him, but it is a sign of our new way.
“Here is one of our starlets out of our academy and one of the young players who totally identifies with the club and plays with his whole heart and also his head.
“He has such a good attitude and worked so hard during his rehab.
“He can be proud for his first appearance. He is quick and brave and good in defending duels.
“He has a lot of ability and when he goes further on he will be an important part of our future.
“It will be a little bit tricky to find the right load for him because he comes into the squad in a tough period.”
Alex Pritchard is another who had been sorely missed, but Farke insists there is more to come after his pivotal role at St Andrews.
“He is a key player,” said Farke.
“For me, one of the best in his role in this league because he can always create something special. It is not easy for him to come back in this period.
“He is not there with 100pc at the moment after his injury but he improves from week to week.
“It is pretty important to have him back, you saw that with his brilliant goal and brilliant assist.
“You can realise he is not there fully in each and every movement but it is great we have Alex available now.”
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