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Dream week to continue with 'natural born goalscorer' Idah in line for FA Cup start

Norwich boss Daniel Farke has hinted that the Cork 18-year-old will lead the line against Preston.

Adam Idah.
Adam Idah.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

AFTER MAKING HIS Premier League debut on Wednesday night, it looks like Cork teenager Adam Idah will lead the line for injury-hit Norwich City in the FA Cup this weekend.

The Canaries face Preston North End at Deepdale tomorrow, with manager Daniel Farke hinting at his plans for ‘natural born goalscorer’ Idah in his press conference today.

Norwich will be without star striker Teemu Pukki, who was substituted with a slight hamstring strain in their draw with Crystal Palace — in which Idah appeared — on New Year’s Day.

“Teemu Pukki is out for tomorrow, he has a little hamstring strain,” Farke said, adding that the Finland ace is also a doubt for their next Premier League outing.

“He’s struggling with his toe as well. I can’t predict whether he’s available for the Manchester United game.”

With hamstrung Josip Drmic and Dennis Srbeny — who’s suffering with a back injury — also ruled out of tomorrow’s showdown against Preston, it’s almost certain that 18-year-old Idah will start.

“We expect Josip Drmic to be back before the Bournemouth game,” Farke noted. “Dennis Srbeny is out, so Adam Idah is the only natural striker available having played just two Premier League minutes.

To play without any strikers would be tricky. Idah is in the age where game time would be good for him. We won’t loan him out before the Preston game, that’s for sure.

“Adam Idah is a good lad and is physically strong,” he later added. “He’s working hard every day and tries to improve, but I don’t like to be over the moon about a good two minutes or too strict with a poor performance.

He is a natural born goalscorer and makes great decisions in front of goal, so he has to value that gift. Hard work is always the answer and he has a bright future.

Idah, who turns 19 in February and hails from Douglas, was handed his debut in the English top flight when he was introduced as a late substitute in Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw at Carrow Road.

Following in the footsteps of Southampton’s Michael Obafemi, Brighton midfielder Aaron Connolly and Troy Parrott at Tottenham, he became the fourth teenage striker from Ireland to play in the Premier League this season.

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adam-idah-celebrates-scoring-a-goal Idah has starred for the Ireland U21s. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

But now Idah, and the Canaries’ attention switches to the FA Cup, where the youngster should get another chance to impress Farke in the third-round clash.

“I’m a big believer of cup competitions,” the City manager continued at this afternoon’s press conference. “It’s the fifth game in 14 days, so we won’t risk any injuries and will use our whole squad, but we want to go into the next round. It’s a difficult draw for us.

“Preston have the best home record in the Championship so we need to have a strong lineup. We travel to win the game.

“They’re one of the best pressing sides in the country. The Premier League team in the cup is often the favourite, but I can’t see a favourite in this game. The difference is not that big.

“We have a chance to go a few games unbeaten. To go into the fourth round of the FA Cup would be good for the confidence.”

“The FA Cup is traditional and important,” Farke concluded. “It’s not realistic for us to win the cup like it is for Liverpool or Man City, but it is possible so we’ll try to be successful as we can.

“It would be nice to travel to Old Trafford having been unbeaten in three games.”

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Emma Duffy

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