Tom Adeyemi set to start against Exeter

PUBLISHED: 14:33 14 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:32 06 July 2010

Teenager Tom Adeyemi could make his full league debut for the Canaries against Exeter after manager Bryan Gunn admitted his midweek Carling Cup players were in “pole position”.

Teenager Tom Adeyemi could make his full league debut for the Canaries this afternoon after manager Bryan Gunn admitted his midweek Carling Cup players were in “pole position” to start at Exeter.

The 17-year-old Academy product did his burgeoning reputation no harm at all on Tuesday, and with question marks over some of his midfield rivals he could become the youngster full league debutant since Kris Renton, who was 16 years and 279 days old when he faced Burnley in April 2007.

Gunn has plenty of selection options, but with four games in the next 10 days, has to use his resources carefully.

He may be tempted to rest Matt Gill, who picked up a knock at Yeovil, while Owain Tudur Jones was away on international duty and Stephen Hughes, who came on as a sub on Tuesday, needs match practice.

Adeyemi came in for Tudur Jones in midweek, and looks to be the one holding all the aces.

And Gunn says it could be time for the local lad to prove he has the stamina to see him through a busy season programme.

“Tom is in contention and deservedly so,” he said. “People will say he is only 17 and can he play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday?

“We have a busy diary of football coming up, so we will need to find out if Tom can play Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday and I am sure that Tom will feel he can.

“He is very fit, he is right up at the top of all the fitness tests that we did throughout the summer. He obviously did a lot of work himself with his upper body strength and he's reaped the benefits from that.

“His attitude is first class, he is a pleasure to be around.

“We have got ourselves a real player there and we need to make sure we nurture him along in the right way - but at the same time realise that we do have a player who can make a difference in these games.”

So while it may be a case of picking two from Adeyemi, Tudur Jones, Gill and Hughes for the central midfield roles, Gunn admits his starting XI will be influenced by the events on Tuesday night, when some of the scars of last weekend's 7-1 humbling by Colchester United were healed.

“I think that is the case,” he said. “It was a brave performance for many of the players, that's the players who took part in last weekend's game and obviously the new ones that came in and it was an opportunity given to them and you could say that everyone took the opportunity.

“We will do a little bit more work on the training ground with them with a view to picking the team we feel will give us three points on Saturday.

“It is obviously picking the right pairings now that we feel will combat Exeter. It is still a nice problem to have.

“It was a similar problem to last week again where we had a full squad to choose from. The lads that played the other evening have obviously given themselves a good opportunity to be included in the line-up for Saturday, but certainly there are others that come into contention as well.

“Certainly Exeter is not an easy fixture - they are coming off the back of two defeats and are playing in front of their home fans. I believe it's a sell-out crowd and they will be wanting to impress, and we know the pressures that come with that.”

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