Charge of the youth brigade at Norwich City
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Alex Neil will settle for nothing less than promotion this season and the Norwich City chief is prepared to unleash his young blood on the Championship to do it.
The Canaries return to Carrow Road on Tuesday night for the first time since relegation from the Premier League, when they host Coventry City in their penultimate pre-season friendly.
City fans can expect to see the likes of Sergi Canos and James Maddison on home soil for the first time, while fellow prospects Ben Godfrey and the Murphy twins impressed on the recent tour of Austria.
“Promotion is the aim, whether it is winning the league, finishing second, or the play-offs. Our ambition is to get back up into the Premier League,” said Neil. “But for me, what I don’t want to do is build a squad just for this year and then next year at this stage I am in the same position. If you are going to have a plan or a structure you have to plan for the future.
“The young lads bring eagerness, a naivety, but in a good way, in the sense they have not suffered a lot of setbacks in their career. They are really enthusiastic and want to prove themselves and that hunger can bring the best out of the older players. If you have a lad challenging you that drives you on.
“To try and involve them in the Premier League is an extremely difficult thing to do. Of course there are different pressures now because we will hope to be at the top end, however, our squad is getting older and if they are good enough the one thing I have always done is not be afraid to put them in.”