Millwall v Norwich City preview: Ivo Pinto is a man in a hurry
PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:29 26 August 2017
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Ivo Pinto has forged a Norwich City career on trademark bursts down the right flank, and the popular defender admits he is a man in a hurry after his false start to the Championship season.
Pinto played a first 90 minutes of the campaign in the midweek League Cup win against Charlton, after a pre-season wrecked by a hamstring injury and then a back problem suffered on his seasonal reappearance against Swindon.
“It has been hard, to be honest. The first game that I came back was against Swindon and I had a horrible fall and landed on my back. It made things even harder for me,” he said. “Now that is past. I am feeling better. I am feeling my fitness is coming back and at this moment I can start helping the team, like I did last season. I am in a good way now. Of course, it will probably be the other side of the international break now when I am really ready. The manager has been speaking to me about this. I am happy to help the team. I just want to keep working hard and hopefully the fans can see that. They are always with the team and the feedback I get is amazing.”
Pinto is convinced the Norwich support can see what Daniel Farke is trying to build at Carrow Road.
“We all knew before the beginning of the season that a lot of changes would be made at Norwich City. New manager, new players, a new way of playing,” he said. “It was not like we could switch a button and we can play like the best teams in the world. You need time but I think with his methods we can achieve very good things. The new signings are very good lads. They have been welcomed here to Norwich and they are excellent players. For us, that is good as players who were here and they will help us over this long season.
“I want to give the fans something, but it is important they are patient. We feel that they are giving us this time. We all want to win games from the beginning, but we have had some hard games, away to Fulham and Aston Villa, home to Sunderland who come from the Premier League. We want to evolve from day to day to give the fans pleasure and put the club back where it should be.”
Pinto insists it is too early to draw the same parallels with Norwich’s defensive woes last season, but knows Millwall will offer another stiff test on Saturday at the Den.
“Crazy crowd from what I heard. It is good. I like that,” he said. “Football needs passion and atmosphere. Millwall need the points. We do as well. We want to show what we are learning. This is a nice challenge for us. I am getting better at the long balls. I think we have some big lads so that won’t be a problem.
“Last season it was one of the biggest problems of the team. It is too early at this stage to speak about that. We conceded four at Aston Villa but two were from nothing. If we do our job in defence then we do not lose games.”