Jonas Gutierrez aims to deliver it all for Norwich City – except for the mask
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Anyone who has spent a lengthy period of time playing for Newcastle United knows what pressure and expectation feels like – that will ensure Jonas Gutierrez fits right in at Norwich City, and quickly.
The on-loan Argentine winger looks set to make his City debut in some form or another on Saturday afternoon against Hull, despite minimal action this season. And while the situation awaiting him at Carrow Road on Hull’s arrival could faze anyone not prepared for it, Gutierrez exudes the feeling that fazing him would be a feat in itself.
“I’ve been in the battle for survival so I know what this is about and I’m ready to be one more of the group, of the team, to do my best and to help them all that I can,” said the 30-year-old winger.
“You’ll see what I’ve been doing in the Premier League since I arrived here. I will get up and down the right or left wing, and then to add the goals and assists to my game – that’s the point I want to improve.
“The fans have given me a really good welcome when they’ve seen me in the city. They tell me good luck and want to watch me play. So it’s been a really good welcome from the fans and from my new team-mates.”
Gutierrez is open about the fact it was a reunion with Chris Hughton that persuaded him to become a canary. And although the spectre hanging over the reunion is it could only be short-lived if things go horribly wrong against the Tigers (3pm), Gutierrez is confident it won’t come to that.
“I don’t know if we can say there is pressure on him – the pressure is always when you don’t have the best results,” said Gutierrez. “We don’t have to think pressure, pressure, pressure. More important is that the players and staff look to the next game and know how important it is. Not to think, oh if we don’t win, there is another game.
“We know it’s an important game that we play at home against Hull and have to get the three points, because that’s most important. To get back into winning ways, we have to be strong at home. That’s the beginning and gets the confidence back. And then maybe you play and things go more easily than if you don’t get the win.
“I think he’s a manager that has a lot of passion for what he does. He tries to show the players as clearly as he can what he wants from any player, from the team. He tries to have a compact team and tries to play good football, and he’s a really honest man.
“I know him since I arrived at Newcastle, before he was manager, and in all the positions he was at Newcastle, he was always really nice with the players, staff and everyone involved.
“I know him, he knows me and he knows what I can do for the team; what type of player I am. And I know what he’s like as a manager. Those were the two biggest points for me to move here.”
Gutierrez is ready for full involvement from the off – something he hopes will mean a wing berth. Just don’t expect to see his famous Spiderman mask goal celebration, if needed.
“All the fans ask me the same – when I started using the mask I didn’t get booked for it, but then they said if I showed the mask I would get a yellow card,” smiled Gutierrez. “I think now it’s more important to be in the game without a yellow card than to use the mask and take the booking!”
He added: “I’m ready. I’ve been in full training at Newcastle, playing a few Under-21 games. It’s not normal for me because before I was playing an average of 35 games per year before, so it’s a different situation this year but that is football. More important is to be strong and to be ready. I’m so happy to be here and I want to do my best.”