Tony Mowbray has promised to look after Newcastle loan star Adam Armstrong, accepting that young players need to be handled in the right way.
The Coventry boss admits that with Armstrong’s ability he wants to have the Geordie striker always on the pitch, even when he’s not at his best, but that if he overdoes it then he could lose the forward to injury and perhaps altogether.
Clubs that rely on loan players need to manage the situation, as they rely on the goodwill of the other club.
Mowbray says that the perception the public have about there being no danger of young players playing too much, is wrong. The former Middlesbrough manager points out that players such as Adam Armstrong aren’t robots and they will break down if you push them too much.
Last season Newcastle suffered when Alan Pardew played Rolando Aarons when he wasn’t ready to come back after injury and lost him for most of the season.
This is where clubs loaning players have to err on the side of caution and only play players when they are sure they are ok to be included.
Scoring eight goals, Adam Armstrong has started all 12 games for Coventry when he has been available and not on international duty.
“You have to look after players and employ a degree of rotation, especially in the final third because that’s where you need to be dynamic so there’s more danger of players picking up injuries.
“But the temptation is always to start with Adam Armstrong and even leave him on the pitch when he’s looking a little bit jaded.
“More experienced and better managers than me have pointed out that you’re only as good as your goalscorers. There are a lot of tight games in this division and a player like Adam can turn a defeat into a draw or a draw into a victory in the blink of an eye.
“But we have to be mindful that Adam isn’t a robot, he is an 18 year old boy who will break down if we push him too hard and Newcastle wouldn’t thank us for that,”
“Intense training is important, but if you keep demanding more and more you have players breaking down.
“Today’s young players understand that because they have a GPS belt on every day so the coaches know exactly what’s happening with their bodies.
“They know when players need to break off for a rest and a bath and when they need to run their proverbials off.
“It’s easy to say ‘he is only 18 or 19 years old, why would he need a rest?’ but players aren’t machines and every so often they need that break.”