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Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Pain is the common theme running through the most difficult season of Robert Snodgrass’ professional life.
The Scottish international has suffered a catalogue of injuries and at times a fractious relationship with the home support which culminated in that midweek flashpoint against Newcastle. Snodgrass is not a man who shirks a challenge but the 26-year-old candidly revealed trying to build on his impressive debut campaign has tested the limits of his endurance.
“You learn a lot about yourself as a person, not just a player. To be honest with you if it wasn’t for bad luck I would have had no luck at all this season,” he said. “That is not poor old me, that is just me saying I have never experienced this amount of injuries. It has been hard and difficult. I have had a lot of pain and I am playing through loads of pain right now. I have had my nose broken, I’ve been knocked out but one thing I will never do is cry or moan. I will keep going and putting my body on the line for this team. You need to give everything at this level. You have to look at the guy right in front of you every week, your direct opponent, and think I am going to do better than you today. If everybody has that attitude then as a club you have more chance to win the game.”
Snodgrass was second top scorer last season behind the departed Grant Holt and a source of numerous key assists, but scaling those same heights has proved elusive.
“People criticise if the assists and goals are not there, but I feel I could have had maybe 10 goals this season,” he said. “I am getting in the right areas, the same as every previous season. Against Hull I created about 10 chances. Any footballer will tell you the same. You look at Cristiano Ronaldo and he hits maybe 100 free kicks and they show you five that hit the target. When it’s not going well, ability-wise, a footballer looks at the man next to him and asks, ‘Is he giving everything he possibly can?’ I know my team mate can look me in the eye and know I will give everything. No-one will ever tell me that I have come off a pitch and not given everything I have in my body.”
Snodgrass made his peace with those supporters he clashed with against the Magpies on the final whistle but the Scot is adamant the Carrow Road factor can pull Chris Hughton’s squad over the finishing line in the coming months.
“You see the atmosphere in that game against West Brom at the end of last season. It was electric because they knew this was it. We need that every single game,” he said. “I know it is easy to say that and the performance in the first half didn’t merit that against Newcastle and me, personally, in that first half I was not good enough and the delivery on that corner was not good enough but I guarantee I will be the first one to try it again and get it right.
“We could have even got the win at the end with my header and it would have been daylight robbery. Any footballer will tell you there are times when the support drives you though. I guarantee they will get us some results between now and the end of the season.
“At Leeds it was the same. The fans could turn but they would also be by your side and that is what being a fan is all about. You speak to them after games and their nerves are shattered. Every tackle, every touch is so vital and they live it.”