Alex Neil wants his Norwich City youngsters to grow up fast
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Alex Neil wants to subject Norwich City's young talent to the rigours of first team football after Jamar Loza joined Cameron McGeehan in departing for a loan spell in the Football League.
Loza linked up with League One Yeovil on Wednesday until February 14, just 24 hours after McGeehan had moved to Cambridge United on a similar one-month deal.
The likes of Harry Toffolo, Jacob Murphy and Carlton Morris are also plying their trade in the Football League and Neil insists that is the way forward for the club's emerging talent.
'I think playing football at Football League level in a first team at the cutting edge is important where it means something, it means points, it means a win bonus, it is the livelihood of players,' he said. 'I wouldn't say development football doesn't mean anything but it is more about a process of making them better. That winning mentality only comes from doing it when it's your job and you are doing it for a living. Young players need to learn that.
'That was the benefit we had at Hamilton, we could expose them so when a young lad came in he was fully aware he was playing with team mates who had mortgages to pay and responsibilities.'
Neil insists City's best youngsters will get a chance, and the 33-year-old cites Josh Murphy's progress.
'It is early days for me so it is difficult to say about the young players we have here but the one I have seen first-hand is the boy Josh Murphy. I have been extremely impressed with him and he will be a big talent going forward,' said Neil. 'He is still a little bit naïve in his game but he is certainly someone who can have an impact at this stage, even at first team level.
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'I'm 33 and managing Norwich so I've got no fears about youth. Young players if they are good enough will get a chance under me.'
• Norwich City's development squad is in action on Thursday against Southampton's Under-21s, when they head to St Mary's bidding to reach the quarter-finals of the Premier League Cup (KO 7pm).
Paul Wilkinson's squad booked their place in the last 16 with a 4-2 win at Fulham, Josh Murphy and Morris both on target along with Scottish under-21 international Cameron King. The likes of King and Conor McGrandles are expected to be on duty against the Saints with Watford awaiting the winners.