City young gun Tom Adeyemi revealed that the Canary family are a happy bunch after rising to third in League One on Tuesday night.
The 18-year-old also managed to get some game time at Southend after replacing Adam Drury at half-time. But despite his likely return to the bench for today’s clash with Oldham, the Norwich-born Academy youngster is happy to bide his time.
“Winning helps, It keeps the morale high. There’s a real togetherness at the moment and we really feel like a squad.
“And for me, as a young player, it’s easier to come into a winning team. There’s less pressure on you in games to come in when the team is already winning maybe 3-0. You get to come on and express yourself.
“It was good to get on the pitch for a long period of time on Tuesday. My last few appearances have just been 10 minutes at the end of games.
“I’d like to be involved more if I could. But at my age, I’m just pleased that I’ve been involved in every squad. I’ve been on the bench at least for every game so it’s going well.”
It’s certainly been a fruitful season for the City Academy, with Adeyemi, Declan Rudd, Korey Smith and Luke Daley all making the step up.
And while the former Norwich School pupil is loving every minute of it, Adeyemi did reveal that it’s a different kettle of fish now he’s competing for a place in Paul Lambert’s first team. It’s a man’s game.
“The Academy has had a lot to show for itself recently and Ricky Martin will be pleased. A few have gone from the youth team to the first team – this year especially.
“But the one thing you realise about first team football is that it’s about winning matches. Youth team football is about player development and trying to be the best player.
“Now it’s all about getting results. And if you win, everyone is happy regardless.”
Meanwhile, fellow midfielder Stephen Hughes looked ahead to today’s Carrow Road showdown with the Latics stating: ‘It’s good to be back’.
The Scotland international made his first start in City colours since October at Roots Hall, and after putting in a solid showing, Darel Russell will have a fight on to get his shirt back.
“I was happy to be back in again. I’ve waited for a while on the sidelines so it was good to get a game,” he said, speaking to the press at Colney yesterday.
“I think the most important thing was to get the three points after Saturday’s game against Carlisle. I think we let ourselves down in that one.
“Obviously it was good to bounce back. It was a hard game and it was good to get the three points. We know the league is very important. We’ve been making good progress in the league and we knew we had to get back to winning ways and thankfully we did that against Southend.”
The 3-0 Shrimpers success did, however, see Hughes adopt an unfamiliar role – Russell’s sitting midfielder position. But this guy can play – the fact that SPL and Bundesliga clubs were chasing his signature in the summer is proof of that – and he slotted in as if he was a natural.
“The sitting midfielder is somewhere I’ve not really played a great deal. But to get in the team you’ll play anywhere.
“I was happy first and foremost that we won the game and obviously to be involved. There are players in the squad, and it’s a massive squad, and it’s all over the park that people want to get in the first XI and it’s up to the manager to make the decisions.
“There’s a big squad and everyone’s wanting to get into the starting XI every week, so the people in the team know that if they don’t perform then there’s people behind them who can come in and take their place.”