Safri eases fears by returning fit

PUBLISHED: 09:48 30 March 2007 | UPDATED: 10:11 14 September 2010

CHRIS LAKEY

Youssef Safri is fit and kicking - contrary to reports out of Africa that sent a few shivers through the Norwich City camp this week. The Canaries midfielder was reported by the national team's official website to have been carried off on a stretcher in the closing stages of Morocco's 1-1 draw against Zimbabwe in Harare on Saturday - although it was clearly news to him.

Youssef Safri is fit and kicking - contrary to reports out of Africa that sent a few shivers through the Norwich City camp this week.

The Canaries midfielder was reported by the national team's official website to have been carried off on a stretcher in the closing stages of Morocco's 1-1 draw against Zimbabwe in Harare on Saturday - although it was clearly news to him.

"To be honest I didn't know anything about that until I got a message from Neal the physio," said Safri.

"It wasn't true because I played the full 90 minutes and I am really fit, 100pc, there is nothing to worry about.

"I don't know where it came from actually - I didn't pick up any injury at all."

Safri resumed domestic duties yesterday and took part in training as usual, insisting his fitness, which has been a concern after previous long-distance internationals, was not an issue.

"It was a lot of travelling, especially as it took 12 to 15 hours to get to Harare," he said. "I think we had quite a long time there, but like all professionals I don't have any problem about that."

There were also no excursions from the team's Harare hotel, in light of the current unrest in the Zimbabwe capital.

"We didn't visit anything outside the hotel," said Safri. "I think it is normal, especially in Zimbabwe at the moment. We didn't go out from the hotel, only for training. To be honest it was really quiet there, nothing serious, and no security. The people were so friendly and everything was really good. There isn't any trouble, everything was fine, but when we go as a national team we don't go out, we just concentrate on the game because it was really important for us."

Attentions now turn to Layer Road, Colchester, where Safri hopes his midfield partnership with Dickson Etuhu continues to mature.

"I am really pleased to be playing with him because he is a great player," said Safri.

"He has had a bad time sometimes but that is normal. Any player has a quiet period but he is a great player and I like to play with him.

"This season I am really pleased with my performances and all the others as well. I haven't had many serious problems, I am doing good and hopefully I can continue performing like that.

"I am looking forward to playing more games and getting more points for the team."

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