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‘That’s why our boys get sent out on loan’ – Gill wants City prospect to learn from Cambridge loan challenge

Adam Phillips, in action against Bury last week, has been playing for City's U23s due to a lack of game time at Cambridge.
 Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Adam Phillips, in action against Bury last week, has been playing for City's U23s due to a lack of game time at Cambridge. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

His loan experience at Cambridge United may not be quite going to plan but Adam Phillips is still learning plenty from his limited game-time at the League Two club.

The 20-year-old former Liverpool midfielder joined the U’s in January and started four matches in the fourth tier, until manager Shaun Derry left in mid-February.

Caretaker boss Joe Dunne turned to more experienced players and has won three of his five matches in charge, with Phillips featuring an unused substitute for three of those. The Canaries prospect was not involved in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with leaders Luton and has returned to play of City’s last two under-23 games, a 1-0 win over Bury at Colney last week and Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat to Fulham at Carrow Road.

“Lads get sent on loan to expose them to different things, to expose them to real-life football,” City U23s coach Matt Gill said. “A manager change is one of those real-life scenarios so I think what he’s getting exposed to now is fantastic.

“As far as playing for us and playing for them, I think it’s important that he continues his development, whether it is with us or whether it is with them. If – as he was at the weekend – not involved then he comes back to us, trains to make sure we keep him up to speed, plays and then reports back to them.

“It’s a real good relationship with Cambridge and obviously it’s part and parcel of he now needs to try and work his way into that team.”

MORE: Derry’s exit poses fresh test as Canaries loanee gets to grips with physical style of League Two

The former England U16 captain signed after a trial last summer and has made 16 appearances for the U23s, as well as been on the bench for City’s first team twice.

“It’s his first loan, I had a couple of loans myself as a player and it’s exposed him to everything that’s needed,” former Canaries, Peterborough and Exeter midfielder Gill continued.

“In the team, out of the team, change of manager, change of ideas, change of philosophy, change of living circumstances – everything that goes along with a loan.

“He’s getting challenged day in and out and that’s why our boys get sent out on loan. So we’re managing him through it, he’s keeping his head down and hopefully he’s gaining loads of experience from it.”

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