Norwich City’s players take matters into their own hands in the fight for Premier League survival
08:00 15 March 2014
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Robert Snodgrass revealed Norwich’s squad have taken matters into their own hands to try and eradicate the soft centre threatenting the club’s Premier League status.
"My honest opinion is we could have been unbeaten for two months and we have just shot ourselves in the foot. The lads are pulling their hair out."
Snodgrass admitted there had been some frank exchanges and home truths designed to cut out the damaging defensive lapses which surfaced at Cardiff, West Ham and Aston Villa on recent away trips. The midfielder accepts all three defeats raise serious questions about Norwich’s ability to resist, which can only be answered at places like Saturday’s opponents Southampton.
“These next nine games will be a tough ride,” he said. “We’re doing things away from home that we don’t at Carrow Road. We don’t concede two goals in two minutes, like at Cardiff, or four goals in 15 minutes at Villa. It doesn’t happen at home. That is a mental side as well. You need to re-group because it looks like we capitulate at times.
“The boys are passionate and we have exchanged words. We know we have made mistakes and we need leaders, men, heroes. We’ve started well in away games and not capitalised. My honest opinion is we could have been unbeaten for two months and we have just shot ourselves in the foot. The lads are pulling their hair out. We defended well for 86 minutes at West Ham and then conceded two goals in five minutes and we get in front against Cardiff and concede two goals in two minutes.”
Snodgrass is not fazed by facing a Saints’ side who have earned plenty of plaudits this season for their swashbuckling style.
“No, it won’t be a daunting prospect to go there,” he said. “They are a great outfit and its only right they are getting all the praise. People always tend to speak about things in the moment and right now they have had great results and they are getting the recognition for that. Things do change quickly though. Look at the start of this season and Tottenham were getting so much praise and now it is plenty of criticism. It is swings and roundabouts.
“We went on a 10-game unbeaten run last season and didn’t get anywhere near the credit we deserved, but maybe sometimes it works for you because it can add pressure. We went down there last season feeling we could win and that will not change this time around. We will just try to fly under the radar and pick up the points we need.”
The 26-year-old dismisses the theory Mauricio Pochettino’s squad may lack the mental edge with Southampton well clear of the survival scrap and six points away from the battle for European spots.
“There is pride at stake in every training session, never mind the game so to say that is ludicrous,” he said. “Many of those boys, the English ones anyway, could be on the plane to Brazil so they need to maintain their best form. There’ll be right up for it and we need to be as well.
“The way the game is nowadays people speak about how much footballers are on and what they earn. You hear that everywhere you go. I’ll tell you right now everyone in our dressing room is pulling in the right direction. We are doing everything right on the training ground to get those back-to-back results to help us kick on. We are working hard and we need match-winners, myself included. What I do know is we have worked hard this week again as a team to try and be more clinical.”