Robert Snodgrass happy to rely on Norwich City’s Premier League home comforts
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Norwich City remain without a Premier League win on the road this season, but Robert Snodgrass does not fear added pressure on their home form.
Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at new boys Southampton extended the Canaries’ unbeaten league run to seven games – a sequence made up of Carrow Road victories and taking a point on their travels.
That will mean an added expectancy on Sunday, when Martin O’Neill’s struggling Sunderland visit a Norwich outfit in stubborn form.
“We’re obviously frustrated that first away win hasn’t come,” said Snodgrass. “You want to win every game and we’ve just been a bit unfortunate. But I think picking up a point away from home and getting three points at home is a terrific record.
“I see away games sometimes as bonus points. Southampton are below us in the league, but they are a great side and they’ve just gone and beaten QPR and Newcastle, so they are a tough side and you can see that with some of the players they have got.
“So we have just got to take each point as it comes and keep picking up our home performances, and hopefully keep it going.
“We will pick ourselves up and look forward to the weekend, which will be a tough game. But we’re back at home which seems to be a place where we’re winning these days and we are looking forward to that.”
City’s Hampshire stalemate was a silver lining to the news hours earlier their England goalkeeper John Ruddy will be out of action for up to three months with a torn thigh muscle.
His number two Mark Bunn stepped into the breach at St Mary’s and passed his first full Premier League test for the Canaries with flying colours. And Snodgrass believes City will cope in Ruddy’s absence.
“We will miss John and what he brings to the team, his clean sheets, but we’ve got a great keeper in Mark – he’s a terrific guy and you’ve seen that against Tottenham (in the League Cup) and at Southampton,” added Snodgrass.
“He was calm, composed and pulled off some good saves. I’d like to wish John a speedy recovery because he’s a great chap, a great keeper, and when he’s back it only bolsters the team.”
Snodgrass certainly did his bit on Wednesday, notching a second goal of the campaign with a free-kick that seemed to unnecessarily bamboozle Saints keeper Paulo Gazzaniga.
And while the point it earned will help City’s cause, preventing Southampton from taking all three in their quest for a prolonged Premier League stay will also satisfy Chris Hughton’s men.
“I scored a few free-kicks when I was at Leeds and I’m perhaps a bit unfortunate it hasn’t been happening here, but this one went in,” smiled Snodgrass.
“People will say the keeper should have got it but you’ve got to get it on target, and I’ve done that and it’s gone in.
“It was big not to lose here but I don’t think we approached the game not to lose.
“We approached it more I think with us thinking about going to win the game, as I think you saw with that second-half performance, and on another day we win the game.
“In the dressing room we are a wee bit disappointed that we have not won the game, so that just shows how well we are doing.”
While it was Snodgrass who won his own equalising free-kick, the midfielder also brought down impressive young full-back Luke Shaw for Southampton’s opener – although the goal was ultimately a team effort on the part of both sides.
“I was just trying to run back and I’ve clipped him and he’s gone down, and the referee has given it – but as a team we still need to defend it,” said Snodgrass.
“I believe there was a handball from them leading up to the goal but we showed good spirit and character to come back into the game, and I thought there was only one team going to win it in the second half.
“It resulted in them taking the long ball option and we knew they were going to do that, and we dealt with that well. There was only one team getting the ball down and passing and moving, and looking to go and win the game.”
On his own late claims for a penalty, Snodgrass added: “I don’t know... I felt something but I’ll let you guys decide. I felt a whack on my ankle.”