Norwich City are not running out of steam, says Elliott Bennett
06:28 02 May 2012
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Elliott Bennett has denied Norwich City’s season has run out of steam after getting the points on the board to secure Premier League survival.
While a second top-flight campaign was finally confirmed on Sunday thanks to Queens Park Rangers’s comprehensive defeat at Chelsea, City have arguably had enough points on the board since their home victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in March.
Since then, Norwich have taken four points from six games with Saturday’s loss to Liverpool City’s third successive Premier League defeat.
But with a trip to Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime before City host relegation-threatened Aston Villa on the final Sunday of the season, Bennett remains keen to see City’s campaign end on a high.
Asked if the Canaries were hitting the buffers, Bennett said: “Nah – we’ve played Manchester City and obviously Blackburn away we were disappointed losing 2-0, and then we have come up against a Liverpool side and we weren’t playing to our best and we have been punished.
“There are not too many times this season you could say we haven’t been up to it, and unfortunately the game against Liverpool was one of those days.
“It’s massively important to end on a bit of a high, because it would be a shame to waste all the hard work and some of the great things we’ve achieved this season and haven’t achieved in the last few games.
“We will be looking to put it right this week in training and give a good account of ourselves at Arsenal, and then hopefully put another performance on for the last game of the season. We will have a good think about what we could have done better and then put it right.”
Three seasons of success at Carrow Road have been built on City’s fabled team spirit under manager Paul Lambert, and Bennett acknowledged the climax to current season represents the sternest test of the Norwich dressing room.
“Definitely – and we will all pull together,” said Bennett. “We have still got two football matches left that we really want to win. Hopefully next week at Arsenal we can put the Liverpool performance behind us and then against Aston Villa we can do the same.”
Liverpool’s victory at Carrow Road provided the perfect warm-up for their FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley, as this season’s Carling Cup victors go in search on a domestic cup double.
But Bennett refused to be drawn on whether Kenny Dalglish’s Reds will have enough to dispatch Roberto di Matteo’s rejuvenated Blues in the capital a few miles west of the Emirates and a few hours after City’s 12.45pm Saturday clash.
“It’s always going to be a brilliant match, at Wembley for the FA Cup final, and I couldn’t tell you who I think could win because on the day it could be anyone,” said Bennett.
“It’s going to be a really good game for the neutral to watch, like myself, and I’m sure it will be a really good spectacle for everyone.”