Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Neil Adams gives short shrift to the notion Norwich City have nothing to play for in their Premier League farewell performance against FA Cup finalists Arsenal.
City’s top flight fate may have been sealed by Sunderland’s midweek win over West Brom, but Adams is in no doubt the Canaries’ under-performing players need to produce more than a sour footnote to a forgettable campaign.
“There is everything at stake,” he said. “I take of course what you are saying in terms of relegation, that has happened, but there is a lot of money at stake in terms of final positions within the Premier League and for me there is 27,000 reasons why there is everything at stake. The people who are in the ground on Sunday have been there for eight or nine years now, for as long as I can remember they have filled the ground and we have regularly taken 3,000 or 4,000 fans away from home.
“I understand if people want to say what happens against Arsenal will have no bearing on whether we stay in the division or not. That is not the issue now. Those people deserve a performance, like a second half against Liverpool, to hopefully send them home, not rejoicing, but maybe with a bit of a smile on their face. We need to get some confidence and enthusiasm and a belief that if this carries on next year hopefully we will be back in the Premier League in the not too distance future.”
Adams has made it clear he would relish the prospect of spearheading the Canaries’ fight back in the Championship next season if he is given the opportunity by City’s board, but ahead of his final match in charge he insists it is vital the whole squad know where they stand within the club’s strategy for an instant return.
“We haven’t sat down or spoken at length with the players since the Sunderland result,” he said. “Everyone knows the situation and I feel the players do need to be spoken to individually on a one-to-one basis with the manager to know where they stand and if they are part of the plans. That will take place in due course.
“I am bitterly disappointed and it hurts a lot for myself and the players. The Premier League is the best league in the world and we have just slipped out of it. You have to face up to that. It is tough because I feel the club deserves to be in the Premier League. It is where Norwich City should be playing their football. We are not in it, but hopefully in a year we will be back in there.
“Sunderland perhaps had a bit of fortune with circumstances but they still had to go and get the results and they have done. There is no bitterness at all from me on that score. It was been a phenomenal turnaround from them.”