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Dublin: 5°C Saturday 27 February 2021

'It will be difficult to keep him a secret now' - Idah targeting Old Trafford after FA Cup heroics

Adam Idah and his Norwich boss on the Cork teenager’s dream start to 2020 and his future amid suggestions of a loan move.

Hat-trick hero: Adam Idah.
Hat-trick hero: Adam Idah.

AFTER A DREAM four days in which he made his Premier League debut and scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup, Cork teenager Adam Idah is targeting game time at Old Trafford next.

18-year-old Norwich City striker Idah got his first taste of the English top flight with a brief cameo on Wednesday night, but he well and truly announced himself on the scene on Saturday afternoon.

The Douglas man was selected to lead the line for injury-hit Norwich against Preston at Deepdale, and he took home the match ball after an impressive showing in the Canaries’ 4-2 win.

“It’s been a great start to the year for me and to get a hat-trick tonight was unbelievable, so I’m over the moon,” he told the club’s website immediately afterwards. “To get an early goal at the start brought my confidence right up and I just kept going from there.

“Marco Stiepermann assisted me for each one, and that’s something we’ve worked on in training. That showed tonight. We said we’d try to do that tonight and it worked.

The second goal of the hat-trick was my favourite. I’ve never done that before in my life!

Another day, another dream realised.

In conversation with the club’s outlet, manager Daniel Farke was just as pleased after rewarding the youngster with a starting berth in his XI.

“Adam scored three times, so he deserves a bit of praise, not just because of his goals but also because of his workload,” he said. “We are a club who plays many young players, trusts them and backs them, but we only play them when they are prepared.

“It was due to a few injuries, but Adam is prepared to deliver on this level and was able to take his chance and show a class performance, not just because of the goals. I’m pleased with him.”

Idah delved a little deeper into his situation with reporters after the game, and further quotes appeared in newspapers this morning. 

When I came over to Norwich two years ago, I didn’t think this would happen,” he conceded, as quoted by the Irish Independent. “Even to start the game was unbelievable but to get off the mark and then score another two goals was great for me. It’s a dream come true.

“I think I’ve improved a lot, just on the pitch a lot more physically and even my movement, watching Teemu Pukki is unbelievable. It’s all down to putting in the hard work really, it shows the boss will put you in, so just delighted.

“The boss and everyone have been great with me and I think I have improved a lot since then — on the pitch, physically, and off the pitch, I’ve matured a lot too.”

Norwich have been without star striker Teemu Pukki, who was substituted with a slight hamstring strain in their Premier League draw with Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day.

With Manchester United up next on Saturday, the first-choice forward could be back, but Idah declared his intent when asked if he was hoping to start at Old Trafford.

preston-north-end-v-norwich-city-fa-cup-third-round-deepdale Idah and Farke on Saturday. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

“That’s down to the boss, but it’s what I’m working towards,” he said.

“Teemu could be back by then, hopefully, but I’m just going to work hard and train even harder. If it comes to that, I’ll try and take my opportunity. If not, I’ll just keep going.”

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And on suggestions that he could be sent out on loan, Idah noted that a decision on his short-term future has yet to be made: It’s up in the air at the moment, I don’t know what’s happening. If I go on loan, I go on loan, it’s going to help me in my development.”

“Maybe I send Teemu Pukki out on loan,” Farke added with a smile, as he reflected on Idah’s breakthrough performance and discussed his immediate future.

“There is no need for an emergency situation. We are in the driving seat. If he is scoring goals for us we won’t be loaning out our best players. He has a long-term contract so there is no urgency on our part.

It will be a bit difficult to keep him a secret now. That is for sure. He deserves to be in the spotlight a bit.

“We back young players as a club but there are no gifts. They only come to the pitch when they are ready.

“Okay, we had a few injuries but Adam is prepared to deliver and he grabbed his chance with both hands,” the manager concluded on the Ireland U21 star. “Not just his goals, but how he kept the ball and linked the play and worked for the team.”

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Emma Duffy

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