Youth will have to wait

Nigel Worthington is refusing to throw Norwich City's inexperienced young players into the heat of the Championship battle. The Canaries boss has used the likes of Michael Spillane, Robert Eagle and Andrew Fisk in pre-season build-up matches, but admits they are still not ready to be thrown into the Championship tussle.

By CHRIS LAKEY

Nigel Worthington is refusing to throw Norwich City's inexperienced young players into the heat of the Championship battle.

The Canaries boss has used the likes of Michael Spillane, Robert Eagle and Andrew Fisk in pre-season build-up matches, but admits they are still not ready to be thrown into the Championship tussle.

And that means he plans more raids on the transfer market before the window closes at the end of August as he seeks to find the missing pieces in the City jigsaw puzzle.


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Worthington is concerned at a lack of depth and says a big target man is still a priority, while he also wants cover for Adam Drury's left-back position.

“We would like to give us those numbers, and strength in depth is always handy,” said Worthington after City wound up their pre-season schedule with a 1-0 home win over Northampton at Carrow Road on Saturday.

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“We have got some young ones in the squad that haven't had any experience in the first team and you can only blood them gently, so it would be unfair to throw them into the cauldron that we are going into.

“To have that player with a little bit more experience, whether it comes out of the top flight level to ourselves, is always beneficial. There are no hard and fast answers at the moment, we will keep trying and if the right player is there we will look to do business.”

Croft appears to have solved the right-sided midfield problem, but there are concerns in other areas.

“There are a couple of positions - we'd like a target man and we'd also like cover for the left back position. That's a position that, should Adam be injured or lose form, we haven't got a natural player to provide competition or to cover for Adam. That is another area where you try to do business on.

“We will keep trying. We will continue to look, and put phone calls in as far as loans are concerned and if there is maybe one there that is maybe a permanent in an area of the pitch to strengthen us and it is reasonable we can look at that as well.”

It has taken almost all of the summer break for Coty to land Croft, having failed to bring either Rob Hulse or Steve Howard to Carrow Road, but Worthington remains confident that he has a squad that can hold the fort until the extra numbers arrive.

“I'm delighted we have Lee and we will go with the players we have got until we add one or two more in,” he said. “I am very happy with the group of players that I have got. The only thing that you'd be looking at is the numbers that gives you the strength and you need a squad of players. It is a heavy schedule and you have got to be able to cover for bumps and knocks along the way.”

Leon McKenzie was a late withdrawal from his squad, having been named as a sub but then forced to leave the ground because of illness.

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