Are Mowbray's comments on Adam Armstrong as much a protection policy as a reality-check?

St James Park Two

The Coventry City boss has warned Newcastle United against recalling the teenage striker too soon.

If Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren could do his summer transfer business over again, one wonders if he would have been quite so quick to send teenage striker Adam Armstrong out on loan to Coventry City.

The forward may only be 18, but he has already scored six goals in seven matches for the League One club this season, and while that is a world away from the Premier League there is every chance Armstrong would have been more effective in front of goal than the likes of Papiss Cisse and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

In recent comments published by the Coventry Telegraph, Coventry manager Tony Mowbray warned against Newcastle recalling Armstrong too soon and expecting him to be their saviour, but could his words have been as much a protection policy as a warning to temper expectations?

After all, Newcastle hold all the cards in this particular hand and if they want to bring Armstrong back early they can; a move which in turn would leave Coventry without a player who is proving to be a regular source of goals this season.

Mowbray is of course right to question why Newcastle would expect an unproven youngster to be their saviour in a time of potential crisis – and it is heading that way – but at the same time Manchester United are currently trusting a 19-year-old to score their goals and he has three in two top-flight appearances.

Mowbray’s comments can be taken as a simple reality-check, but they can also be seen as a manager desperate to keep hold of a player who could make all the difference to them this season.

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