City academy chief looking for FA Youth Cup lift
PUBLISHED: 06:00 10 December 2019
Norwich City academy manager Steve Weaver is hoping a positive performance for the young Canaries in their FA Youth Cup bow on Tuesday night will help lift the mood.
City's under-18s face Newcastle United at Carrow Road (7pm kick-off) with the carrot of potentially facing Manchester United in NR1 should they manage to overcome the Magpies.
Norwich have a decent pedigree in the prestigious youth cup competition. In 1983 Dave Stringer's squad beat Everton 6-5 on aggregate and more recently in 2013, when Neil Adams side beat Chelsea 4-2 over two legs, City would love similar success in this year's competition.
For Weaver, however, winning silverware doesn't necessary equate to possessing a crop of talented individuals.
"I think we've got to be really careful that we think success in the youth cup means you've got good players," said Weaver, speaking on Monday at Colney. "Anyone can win the FA Cup, can't they? It's a different team that wins the league.
"It bears no reflection to development. It's just a cup competition that everyone enjoys and it's at stadiums in front of everyone but irrespective of what happens in this game or whatever run we have, there will be players who won't play here but will end up playing at Carrow Road."
Successive defeats in the Premier League for the Canaries' first-team has seen supporters question whether they possess the quality to retain their status in the top-flight.
"The Premier League is going to be hard whatever," Weaver explained. "It's hard for the top teams so it's hard for us. We've got no VAR in this game so that'll be alright."
Weaver is hoping a positive result can lift spirits.
"If we can get a good result and a good performance, then the boys bounce in here on a Wednesday and it lifts the place," he said.
"It's the same when the first-team win, the 18s, 23s and even the youngsters, if they have good performances on the Sunday and the first-team are watching, it just brings that bit of enthusiasm out around the place.
"It's really important when one team is a little bit down that other teams and people around it are up. It changes very quickly in football."