Time to give youngsters a chance

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant faces a double selection problem this weekend - and for once it's not all bad news.Yes, the City boss has two players still suspended.Yes, he may be without two more of his most experienced players through injury.

CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant faces a double selection problem this weekend - and for once it's not all bad news.

Yes, the City boss has two players still suspended.

Yes, he may be without two more of his most experienced players through injury.

But he also has first-hand evidence that the Norwich City Kids are Alright - and they're desperate to prove it when the Canaries face Championship strugglers Sheffield Wednesday at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Grant thrust Rossi Jarvis and Michael Spillane into the midfield fray for the first time this season for the Carling Cup clash at Manchester City on Tuesday and saw them come out on top against Sven-Goran Eriksson's multi-million pound superstars.

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Despite the agonising nature of defeat - an 89th-minute goal settling the tie - the Canaries' performance was light years away from the debacle at Wolves just days earlier, and that could just swing it in the youngsters' favour.

Jarvis, for one, is champing at the bit after making just his second start for the Canaries.

“I thrive on pressure and I really enjoyed it,” said the Fakenham-born 19-year-old, who spent time on loan at Rotherham and Tourquay last season.

“I want to start again on Saturday and play as many games as I can play for Norwich.”

Spillane now has seven starts to his name and, like Jarvis, is eager to add to his tally after Tuesday's confident showing.

“We are confident players and after Saturday's game (at Wolves) we lost a bit of confidence,” he said. “But when we got the ball we passed it and I think we did well - and that's all we need to do really, hopefully can do it on Saturday.”

Grant said he had been waiting for the right opportunity to field Spillane and Jarvis - now he's found it.

“They have been at the forefront the last couple of weeks, but the biggest problem I've had is that I didn't think we had the solidity in the performances we've been having and I felt I had to pick the right moment for them,” he said.

“I know they can play, but with the make-up of the team, sometimes it would be cruel to put them in.”

Teenagers Chris Martin and Andrew Cave-Brown were on the bench at the City of Manchester Stadium, and Grant may well have to call on them again in view of his latest injury problems.

Darren Huckerby's return to his former club was restricted to a view from the dug-out after he picked up an ankle injury, while Gary Doherty played the full 90 minutes but suffered a groin injury, which could force him out this weekend.

With Dion Dublin and Jason Shackell suspended, Grant could be left without a recognised central defender and unless he can bring someone in on loan, it could mean an involvement for Cave-Brown, possibly at right back, with Jon Otsemobor used in central defence.