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Idah in line for Old Trafford start as Norwich boss confirms striker shortage

Teemu Pukki and Josip Drmic will both be absent for the Canaries’ clash with Manchester United.

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke pictured with Adam Idah during last weekend's win against Preston North End.
Norwich City manager Daniel Farke pictured with Adam Idah during last weekend's win against Preston North End.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

IRISH YOUNGSTER ADAM Idah looks likely to make his full Premier League debut when Norwich City take on Manchester United tomorrow (3.00pm).

Norwich boss Daniel Farke confirmed in today’s pre-match press conference that Teemu Pukki and Josip Drmic will miss the trip to Old Trafford due to injury.

Both players are suffering from hamstring problems, with Swiss international Drmic having been sidelined since November. Farke expressed confidence that leading goalscorer Pukki will return in time for next week’s visit of Bournemouth.

The double injury blow, added to the transfer of Dennis Srbeny to SC Paderborn on Wednesday, leaves Idah as the Canaries’ only fit striker.

The 18-year-old Corkman got his first taste of the Premier League when he was introduced as a late substitute in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day.

Idah, a key member of Stephen Kenny’s Ireland U21 squad, then helped himself to a hat-trick in last weekend’s 4-2 win at Preston North End in the FA Cup third round.

“It was great for Adam to get a hat-trick, but I don’t like the hype,” Farke warned today. “It was his first game on this level. I was pleased with him but we didn’t win the Premier League. With all respect to Preston, they had made several changes in their defence.

“It’s a bit different facing [Harry] Maguire and [Victor] Lindelof. Quality is defined by performances over a long-term period, so that’s what Adam has to do. He’s not a quality striker after one FA Cup game.”

Farke, who stated that Norwich aren’t considering allowing Idah to leave the club on loan during this transfer window, added: “Adam is taller and stronger than most 18-year olds. He’s aware he has potential but he knows he has to improve. Both his feet are on the ground, so I don’t have to take too much care of him.”

The Norwich boss also insisted that his injury problems in attack won’t guarantee a starting berth for Idah: “Barcelona play without a proper striker. [Pep] Guardiola has philosophies on playing without natural-born strikers. If your strikers aren’t available, you find other solutions.”

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As they currently languish at the foot of the Premier League table, seven points adrift of safety, Norwich will be desperate for a positive result to boost their hopes of survival.

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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