'We know we can do it' - Krul knows Norwich City's season is very different now
The Championship top three are now out on their own - and Tim Krul admitted it would be disappointing for Norwich City to finish behind Leeds and Sheffield United.
Leeds and Sheffield United both followed City’s Friday night lead with Saturday victories, meaning the Canaries head into the final 10 games of the campaign top of the tree with a four-point gap to the Blades in third.
And while a top-six finish at the start of the season was beyond the majority of people’s ambitions, Krul is confident the Canaries can finish the job and secure a top-two berth – and with it, automatic promotion back to the Premier League.
“It would be a big shame if we can’t now finish in the top two because we’ve proven on a lot of occasions that we are one of the best teams in the league, if not the best,” said Krul.
“We are allowed to be confident. It’s now 10 games, 10 exciting games, don’t get carried away and we know we can do it.”
City are back in action on Wednesday (7.45pm), when Hull visit off the back of a 3-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest – their fourth successive loss on the road, with the Tigers’ play-off hopes hanging by a thread.
As for Krul, he experienced Championship promotion as a 22-year-old with Newcastle United in 2009-10 as back-up to Steve Harper – coincidentally while fellow young Magpies keeper Fraser Forster was winning League One while on loan with the Canaries.
And the City number one has had his own journey this season: returning to regular first-team football since some serious injuries, recovering from some early-season mistakes and now clocking three clean sheets in the Canaries’ previous six games.
“It feels a little bit different, just because we had really experienced players there – Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith, Nicky Butt,” said Krul.
“But this is more exciting I think. We’ve shown some amazing football this season, we’ve dug it out and come back so many times from being behind. I just hope we can keep going.
“Listen, I said it in September – I made a couple mistakes and I hold my hand up, but I think everybody does. When I make a mistake it’s a goal, but with missed penalties or missing open goals… I’m not too shy to walk away from my mistakes; I put my hand in the air.
“But it’s nice to stand on the other side as well, that we are top of the league and it’s great to be a big part of that.
“We have actually tightened up a bit but even at the start, I remember we could have gone into the lead at Sheffield United – then they scored in the last minute.
“Results talk, don’t get me wrong. But we knew what we were trying to do and we believed in the routes the manager wanted to take us. I think we’ve proved our doubters wrong since with that, definitely.”
With £1.5m signing Emi Buendia firing City’s Swansea win and free transfer Teemu Pukki the Championship’s leading scorer, Krul admitted City’s recruitment has been hugely impressive.
“I was a free too like Teemu,” Krul laughed, having left Brighton in the summer. “But no, there has been some great business by the club. The manager and Stuart Webber sold me a great picture and they haven’t lied one bit about it.
“There is some great talent here with the youth coming through and again, it’s a great mix between experience and youth.”
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