Joshua Murphy set up the extra-time Youth Cup winner on Tuesday after twin Jacob scored the opening goal. Picture: Denise Bradley

Neil Adams: Norwich City’s Murphy twins can reach the top

Thursday, February 28, 2013
10.09 AM

Norwich City Under-18 boss Neil Adams believes the Murphy twins have got what it takes to become Premier League players – if they can maintain their rate of progress.

It was a team effort that saw the young Canaries into the last eight of the FA Youth Cup at home to Birmingham on Tuesday evening, thanks to their extra-time win.

But the quality of 18-year-old Jacob and Joshua stood out as the former scored City’s opener, while the latter’s superbly flighted free-kick booked Cameron McGeehan’s winner and a quarter-final trip to Adams’ old club Everton.

“We know the talent they’ve got, we know what they are capable of doing,” said former City winger Adams. “I’ve known them since they were 12 years old and I’ve worked with them for three or four years at various ages, and now obviously working with them at under-18 level.

“I know what’s required to go and play in the Premier League, and they’ve got the basic raw talent. They just need their game refining slightly and one or two aspects improving.

“I was really pleased with them against Birmingham because you saw them working hard defensively, for example. You saw them securing the ball and passing it at the right time, rather than just trying to beat everybody – which is hard to ignore when you’ve got that sort of talent. I mean, they are capable of beating players for fun.

“But the higher you go in the game and the harder the game gets, then you don’t get as many opportunities and you can’t afford to lose the ball.

“And I was really pleased with them both that they showed more discipline, more maturity, and that’s what is going to be required if they are to play in Chris Hughton’s first team.”

City’s quarter-final at Goodison Park will be a special occasion for Adams, who will get to pit his wits against an old team-mate, in the form of his opposite number.

“I really am looking for to it,” Adams added. “I’ve only been back a couple of times since I left, but we know we’re playing them, we’ve watched them and I’m sure they were here. Kevin Sheedy is a good old pal of mine and I’m sure he was there up in the stands.

“They are a very good team and we will have to be right on the top of our game to go and get a result. But it’s fantastic to be in the last eight. We made it a target and we’ve achieved it, but we want more. So we will be pushing the lads as hard as possible to go to Everton, to go to Goodison, and go and give them a real game.”

A date for the sixth round tie is yet to be confirmed, but either way Adams can look back on an excellent first year taking a lead with City’s Under-18 squad.

“I’ve worked with Ricky Martin and the 18s for the past couple of years but to be in charge now, you take that responsibility on board,” he said. “A lot of the players are getting international recognition now, a lot are developing nicely.

“They are still young kids, they’ve still got two or three years to go I would feel. But as long as we stick them on the right path, then we are doing the right job.”