Duffy believes he can lift the mood

PUBLISHED: 19:42 23 October 2007 | UPDATED: 10:39 14 September 2010

Caretaker boss Jim Duffy insists his Norwich City side will be in the right mood to take on Burnley tonight despite the dark clouds gathering over Carrow Road.

Caretaker boss Jim Duffy insists his Norwich City side will be in the right mood to take on Burnley tonight despite the dark clouds gathering over Carrow Road.

City are without a victory since David Strihavka's late winner against Crystal Palace in the middle of September and have endured five defeats and a draw from that time, including the latest reversal against Bristol City on Saturday.

But Duffy insists while there is continuing disappointment at the Colney training ground, he can lift the weight on the players shoulders and put “smiles back on their faces again” ahead of the crucial Coca-Cola Championship clash at Turf Moor.

And he claimed the players still have the belief that the clubs fortunes will turn around before too long.

“Of course after the (Bristol) match there was disappointment because we lost two late goals and of course there's that continuing disappointment if you don't get results,” he said.

That's evident with the players and you can see that with there demeanour. That's normal. “You don't expect players and you don't want players to come in singing and dancing if you lose.

“But we will look forward again and try to get some smiles back on their faces again and we'll be as positive as we can be. That's the way you've got to approach it. You don't shy away from anything.”

The Scot said his own claims to be the permanent successor to Peter Grant are on one side and his only job at the moment is to find a team to win at Burnley and part of that task includes rebuilding the confidence of a struggling team.

“It's part of the manager's job to lift players. That's what a manager has got to do,” he said. “When it's going well you praise your players and when it's not you take the stick. That's when you've got to try to make sure you get the balance right between the players not being too relaxed, because the managers coming in and smiling, but also making sure it's not depressing and have them wandering about with the weight on their shoulders so you've got to try to lift some of that weight if you can.

“But the best way to do that is keep training lively and keep the motivation side of it high and make sure the belief stays in there.

“I genuinely believe the players are ready for the match against Burnley and were ready for match against Bristol and we've got to do our talking on the pitch.”

However, there was mixed news from the treatment room if Duffy and his side are to pull off what would be considered a surprise win against a side unbeaten in four home games this season.

He will definitely be without left-back Adam Drury following his early departure from Carrow Road on Saturday.

“We thought it was a knee injury,” Duffy said. “He got a block on the knee, but the second incident when he went to head the ball and his momentum carried him off the pitch, when he landed he jarred the back of the knee and the calf, so it is more the top end of the calf that has been damaged, which is good news in one aspect, but not really good news - it is going to be a problem for him.

“We don't know how long he is going to be out but he will certainly not be available.”

Dion Dublin will not play but may travel with the squad and again appear in the dug out alongside Duffy, while a decision on whether John Hartson could start two games in three days was due to be taken after training yesterday.

But there was brighter news, with on-loan midfielder Jimmy Smith being included in the squad following his 70-minute outing with the reserves last week.

“He's not quite ready yet to maybe be at his very best, but we are short of numbers in that respect,” Duffy said. “He is a young lad, he has good natural fitness, but the tempo of the game you have to make sure you are ready for it.

“There is always going to be an element of risk when you bring players back from long term injuries and we want to give him the best opportunity possible. Suffice to say he is in the squad.”

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