Joseph Yobo - Norwich City’s defence can handle the Premier League’s powerhouses
Joseph Yobo is out to prove there is no blind spot in Norwich City’s central defence against the most fearsome Premier League strikers.
Swansea City’s 20-goal frontman Wilfried Bony – a player christened as a ‘beast’ earlier this week by his manager Garry Monk – is a physically imposing figure in the same mould as Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke and Southampton’s Rickie Lambert who have terrorised the Canaries on the last two away trips.
Yobo was powerless to prevent Benteke’s acrobatic overhead kick at Villa Park or stop Lambert cutting inside to rifle past John Ruddy at St Mary’s, but the Nigerian international insists City’s backline can subdue Bony at the Liberty Stadium.
“He is doing very well, credit to him, but I don’t really look at who I am going to play,” he said. “We do all the analysis and the video work and I know what he is like and he is a very good footballer because it is not easy to score goals in the Premier League. I haven’t played against him, or at least I don’t remember, but football teaches you not just to focus on one player because someone else can come into the squad. I just concentrate on what I have to do.
“We’ve played very well away from home and made some mistakes, both individual and collective, but now we need to stick together and fight.
“It happened in those games, but it doesn’t mean it will happen again. Of course we have to reduce the number of goals we concede. We know that. If you look at Southampton we could have got a 3-3 draw in the end before they broke and scored the fourth and that is football. We learn from our mistakes, we don’t have many games left so we have to be up to the task.”
Yobo denies there is any mental block to explain Norwich’s inability to replicate their impressive Carrow Road home form on the road.
“I can’t really tell you what is the difference, other than at home you have the fans and your families behind you,” he said. “Also when you are in the situation Norwich are, fighting to move higher up the league from the relegation zone, probably when we lose away from home we know we have to respond at home.
“At Carrow Road you have 22,000 supporting you and that does make a little difference, but you have to take responsibility to make sure you get the results we want. We have to take that to the away games as well.
“Since I have been here the fans have pushed the team and helped us to get some good results. The away fans are special. They leave their families and jobs and travel a long way to support the team and we feel so bad when we let them down. I can assure them of that. We are a team representing Norwich and we want to make them happy.”