‘You’ve got to stay strong’ - Godfrey staying positive after City injury blow

Ben Godfrey, left, alongside Akin Famewo at Carrow Road during Norwich City's loss to Wolves 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Ben Godfrey, left, alongside Akin Famewo at Carrow Road during Norwich City's loss to Wolves Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Paul Chesterton

Ben Godfrey has pledged to “stay strong” mentally in the wake of his injury setback at Norwich City.

The 21-year-old defender has been ruled out of action until February by a knee injury picked up during the Canaries' recent 1-1 draw at Leicester.

The England Under-21 international had started all 17 Premier League games before the injury emerged, missing Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Wolves.

That brought an end to a run of starting 43 consecutive league games, a sequence which began in December of last year.

"In the first half against Leicester I took a little knock on my knee when I was playing a pass and it turns out I've torn my lateral collateral ligament, which is not ideal over Christmas with lots of games and I'd love to be involved," said Godfrey, who is currently wearing a brace on his right knee.

"This is football, there's plenty of ups and downs in football and injury is one of them. I've been really fortunate to not miss a game in years through injury, everyone has their time, it's just a shame it's come at this period.

"You've got to stay strong, I will do that, and I'm just grafting now to come back as fit as possible."

The York City youth product, who also impressed while on loan in League One with Shrewsbury before emerging for the Canaries last season, had been playing through the pain of a hernia earlier in the season due to injuries to Christoph Zimmermann, Grant Hanley and Timm Klose.

He had an operation during the international break but recovered in time to not miss a Premier League game, as he got his first taste of top-flight football.

"For me personally it's just staying switched on for 90 minutes because if you switch off at any moment during a game, any team has got the capability to punish you and they will do that as well," he said of his Premier League lessons so far.

"In the Championship you can get away with things and someone will put a shot wide or blaze it over or whatever, in the Premier League they're finding the corners and with the ability they've got you just can't afford to do it."

Godfrey was speaking to BBC Radio Five Live in the build-up to City's loss to Wolves, a game in which they again demonstrated top-tier standards in attack, only to let themselves down defensively.

Asked about Daniel Farke's style of play, he replied: "We like to play football out from the back and we've got players who are capable of doing that. That worked in the Championship, I think it's too much to ask a team to change its whole philosophy and ideas, because you'd have to get a whole new team in.

"That's not what we do, coming from the top we've wanted to stay young, play out from the back and you can get punished, you can make mistakes, that's going to happen.

"But ultimately we're not a team which are all eight-foot nine-inches and have target men all over the place, so we can't kick it long. We stick to doing what we do best and that's play football."

Hanley returned to partner Zimmermann in Godfrey's absence during the defeat, which leaves City six points from safety ahead of a trip to survival rivals Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

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