Safri looking for revenge

PUBLISHED: 07:15 24 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:14 14 September 2010

It was a goal that dealt a massive blow to Norwich City's Premiership survival hopes - and 10 months down the line Youssef Safri is still unhappy about it.

It was a goal that dealt a massive blow to Norwich City's Premiership survival hopes - and 10 months down the line Youssef Safri is still unhappy about it.

When the Canaries last played Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park they were just seven minutes away from claiming what would have been a crucial 3-2 victory when Andy Johnson took a spectacular tumble in the box under a challenge from Jason Shackell.

Much to Safri's disgust the England striker earned a penalty for his efforts - and duly converted from the spot to deprive the visitors of two precious points - and the Moroccan midfielder is now determined to exact a measure of revenge in another important showdown between the two sides.

“I still remember the penalty incident very well - it was a very bad moment for us,” said the City star as he looked ahead to tomorrow's game.

“I think Johnson went down three or four times before that and the referee didn't give him anything.

“He didn't book him for diving either, which I found a bit strange.

“In the end he got his penalty and we were all very angry about it. I still believe that if we'd won that game we would have stayed in the Premier League but unfortunately it was not to be.”

Safri also remembers getting a painful kick on the back during the incident-packed 3-3 draw, so he should be fully fired up for a match City really need to win to keep alive their slim chances of reaching the play-offs.

“I also got a bad challenge in that game which I was really angry about,” he recalled. “I can't remember the player but I got a nasty kick in the back which was very sore afterwards. I managed to carry on until the end but it was not easy. Games between Norwich and Crystal Palace are usually very hard and that was another example.

“Having said that, it was also a really good game of football for the fans. We were 3-1 up and ended up drawing 3-3 but the performance of the players was good and hopefully we can repeat that on Saturday.

“That's certainly what we will be aiming to do and after what happened last time it would be nice to come away with all three points this time.”

Safri will be making his fifth appearance for the Canaries since returning from African Cup of Nations duty at the beginning of the month and feels he has now retuned his body for the tough physical demands of Championship football.

“I feel I am now back to my old level and I am very pleased about that,” he said. “It wasn't easy when I first came back from Africa but it has been getting better with each game I have played and now I feel I am 100 percent.

“I am certainly looking forward to Saturday's game, I know that. We still believe there is a chance of reaching the play-offs but to have a chance we need to go down to London and beat Crystal Palace.

“If we win down there we will be right back in it.”

He added: “I think everybody is looking forward to this game - and everyone is focused on it.

“We are very happy with the way things have gone recently. We have picked up seven points from three games and I think that shows we are moving in the right direction.

“We must just stay focused and work as hard as we have in done in the last three games. If we do that then I think everything will be fine.”

Become a supporter

This newspaper company has followed Norwich City through good times and bad. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce in depth coverage that makes a measurable difference to our community. OTBC

Norwich City Video

Norwich City Audio

Norwich City Stats

The Pink Un magazine

cover
A must-read for any Norwich City fan with in-depth, straight-talking, analysis from the best writers around.
Purchase

Latest from the Pink Un - Norwich City Football Club News