Bradley Johnson is adamant Norwich City will not be sacrificial lambs against Premier League title favourites Liverpool
07:00 19 April 2014
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If Norwich City are expected to fulfil the role of sacrificial lambs against Liverpool no-one has told Bradley Johnson or his team mates.
The combative midfielder understands the national groundswell is building to see the Reds end a 24-year title drought, but the man with a tattoo carrying the word ‘believe’ insists Neil Adams’ squad are intent on following a different script.
“Everyone has got their opinions, but we are not listening,” he said. “We are going to go out there on Sunday wanting to win the game. We can’t go into the game think ‘Liverpool are this or that, we have to stop this player or that,’ we just have to get in their faces, make it a messy game for them and hopefully get the three points. We are in a dogfight now.
“That is not just a tattoo, that is my motto; you have to believe in yourself. I have always done that in my career and my life - believe I am good enough to play in this league. I am sure the lads will say that as well.
“This is a lifetime opportunity to play in this league and we have worked so hard to get here and it might be the last chance some of the lads get if we do go out of the league. We have to go out there on Sunday and work our socks off.”
Johnson watched on along with the rest of the football world as Steven Gerrard delivered an impassioned plea to his troops to focus on the next hurdle at Norwich just seconds after beating title rivals Manchester City last weekend.
Much of the pre-game hype will inevitably settle on Luis Suarez’s bid to continue his rate of plunder and Johnson realises stopping Liverpool’s key players must form part of the strategy.
“Most of the lads will have seen the Manchester City game, I did myself, and it was right what Gerrard was saying,” he said. “It is going to be a hard game for them because coming to Norwich is not an easy place, and we are going to make it as hard for them as possible, because we want to win just as much as they do.
“We cannot concentrate on him or Suarez, because if they have an off day then there are plenty more players in that team who are capable of winning games.
“They have other players in their team who are as good as Luis Suarez. I voted for Suarez and (Daniel) Sturridge for the PFA player awards. I think they have had a terrific season, but hopefully they will have a bad game on Sunday. It would be good to stop them scoring, but we have to concentrate on what we have to do - and that is stopping Liverpool as a whole team.”