Bowen issues warning to kids

Image: Bowen: Relishing challenge

Man City assistant boss Mark Bowen accepts their youth products may now struggle to make their mark.

City assistant admits youngsters face tough challenge

Assistant boss Mark Bowen accepts Manchester City's youth products may struggle to make their mark as their new owners pursue the world's best. The Blues have developed a rich academy system over the last decade, with the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Micah Richards, Michael Johnson and Stephen Ireland having all come through City's youth ranks. With the Abu Dhabi United Group set to invest millions to bring the game's global superstars to City, the club's latest crop of youngsters will face an even bigger challenge to make the first-team breakthrough. But while Bowen admits some will fail to make the grade at City, he believes others will prosper from the extra competition.

Aspiration

"It will be a natural progression over the next year or so with a number of players coming in," he said. "It will be an aspiration for the players but others will fall by the wayside - but that's the way it's been at Chelsea and Manchester United over the years. "We want to give the players stiff competition for their places and if you have got real quality throughout the club, that can only be for the benefit of the team. "We have got some tremendously talented youngsters. Of course, the bar has been raised, and of course they are going to find it harder to break into the team in the long run. "But they will be watching and working with the best players in the world on a day-to-day basis. "Someone may say to me Manchester City's youngsters have to take a back seat and it's going to be detrimental to them but it's a natural progression. "If you are going to be challenging for the Champions League and wanting to push for the Premier League, I'm afraid it's the way it goes."
Challenge
City's prospective new owners aim to follow the deadline-day swoop for Robinho with a host of other big-name signings in January and have set a top-four target for this season. They then hope to challenge for the Premier League title and make their mark in the UEFA Champions League, and Bowen is relishing the challenge of breaking into the game's elite. "The owners are going to challenge the top teams not just in this country but in Europe over the next few years," he added. "I am sure with the clout behind them that will be the case. I am sure we will get up a few people's noses over the next 18 months, surely."

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