The clear lesson Leeds United can learn from Norwich City

Neil Adams - Norwich Manager

The success of Neil Adams at Norwich is a further pointer to Leeds United that Neil Redfearn may in fact be the answer.

Leeds United fans may not appreciate the comparison to Norwich for obvious reasons. The Canaries have used the club as a hunting ground for talented players in recent seasons, with varied success.

Robert Snodgrass was sold on to Hull, Luciano Becchio's career never got going and now he is struggling at Rotherham. Former Leeds captain Jonny Howson remains sidelined with a knee injury.

Yet if there is a club they should look to, as a pointer for the crucial next step they are about to take, it is the East Anglian side.

At the end of last season Norwich dispensed with the services of Chris Hughton, and put academy boss Neil Adams in temporary charge.

He failed to avoid relegation, with his four final fixtures an unenviable task of facing Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

Norwich stuck by their man, and appointed Adams full-time in the summer and their faith is paying off. City sit in the promotion places at the top of the Championship, with the best goal difference in the division.

Leeds meanwhile sit in mid-table, which is a considerable improvement from being just outside the relegation places a fortnight ago.

The surprise appointment of Dave Hockaday did not last beyond four Championship matches, and academy boss Neil Redfearn has done a terrific job since, winning two and drawing one of his three games in charge.

Owner Massimo Cellino has said he does not want to appoint Redfearn full-time, due to the fear of losing out on the great work he is doing with the academy.

Yet as the club are linked with coaches from Slovenia to Argentina, they are overlooking potentially the perfect candidate.

Redfearn is already in the role and performing well, knows and has the confidence of the players, and is familiar with each and every one of the youth team prospects and realises what they can bring to the table and when is the right time to put them in.

The early success of Adams at Norwich illustrates that putting the faith in the academy boss, sometimes can be the best option after all. 

The counter-argument, is that Norwich's under-21 side sit bottom of their division winless from three games, but considering the opposition has been Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City, perhaps not too much can be read into those results given the superior resources available.

That fear should not hold them back, because if the feeling persists that Redfearn really is the best person for the first team role, Massimo Cellino should consider going back on his word.

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