Mario Vrancic agrees with his Norwich City critics
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
Mario Vrancic admits he still has to convince Norwich City fans he is the real deal.
The Bosnian international midfielder arrived from the Bundesliga last summer with a big reputation, but has failed to live up to his billing.
Vrancic’s best displays have come in recent weeks, and the 28-year-old revealed on Friday there had been plenty of soul-searching to try and find his feet in England.
“People expected more and I expected more of myself,” he said.
“Unfortunately I couldn’t deliver what I can on the pitch, but I’ve improved in the last few weeks.
“It was easy to identify what I needed to work on - the challenges and the headers.
“That is important in this league. The boss and everyone were trying to help me.
“It’s always hard to judge yourself, but I was struggling a little bit at the beginning. I think the criticism I had was justified.
“I’ve analysed my game and looked to improve.
“Some players need time to get used to different football and to a different league. I think this was my case. I’ve gone back to basics.
“That was the key.
“I’ve played at number six lately, which is something I like. “If you win challenges and duels there, you have more space to play. Hopefully I can continue like the last two or three weeks from here.”
City head coach Daniel Farke hailed Vrancic’s performance in the 3-1 Championship victory over Sheffield Wednesday last week that broke an eight-game winless spell. The midfielder is looking for more of the same against Leeds on Saturday.
“We waited a long time. It was very important and we want to take that into the Leeds game,” he said. “I had forgot that feeling of winning a game, because we waited so long. Hopefully we can have a big reaction now.
“I wouldn’t say it is easier to play away.
“At home you get a big boost from the supporters. We just haven’t been able to deliver.
“What you can say is sometimes it is easier away because the expectations are not so high.”
Vrancic knows with fellow midfielders Tom Trybull, Alex Pritchard and Alex Tettey all now back from injury there can be no slacking.
“You have to deliver to stay in the team.
“ pressure can be helpful,” he said. “The gaffer has more opportunities to react to injuries or a bad performance.”
• For the latest Norwich City news and opinion follow Group Football Editor Paddy Davitt on the following channels…