A fresh start for everyone
DAVID CUFFLEY Winger Lee Croft believes the secret to Norwich City's revival under Glenn Roeder is the new mood sweeping Colney training ground.The Canaries have given their season a much-needed shot in the arm by taking nine points from a possible 12 in the space of 11 days to move off the bottom of the Coca-Cola Championship.
Winger Lee Croft believes the secret to Norwich City's revival under Glenn Roeder is the new mood sweeping Colney training ground.
The Canaries have given their season a much-needed shot in the arm by taking nine points from a possible 12 in the space of 11 days to move off the bottom of the Coca-Cola Championship.
And as they prepare to take on Sheffield United at Carrow Road on Saturday (3pm), 22-year-old Croft said the way the new management team had lifted spirits was a key factor in improved results.
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He said: “We have under-achieved massively this season but we've got new staff and a new start. It's a fresh start for everyone.
“We were in a rut and we weren't winning many games but we've won a few and got our confidence back.
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“The new coaches are a lot different. The confidence has been brought back and so has the enjoyment in training, and the results have come since the gaffer took over.
“Training has been really enjoyable. It's very hard but it has a fun side to it and everybody looks forward to training more.
“The lads are all more confident. We're feeling a lot better about ourselves as a team.
“We have won three games and we should have had a point away from Stoke. We've just got to be consistent.”
Croft has figured in every game since Roeder took charge, but has mostly had to wait his turn on the bench before being introduced. Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Stoke was only his second start under the new manager, while he was a second-half substitute in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Plymouth - but the reasoning is always explained.
“He's a good man manager because he'll talk to you and explain the reasons why you're in or not in. He says it's not just about the starting eleven, it's about the subs and if you are picked you've got to do your job,” said Croft.
“He's got a lot of respect from all the players and there is a good team spirit, which you need to win games.”
New faces in the coaching team and in the squad, with four loan signings, had made the difference, he said.
“The manager has brought in the right people. He's not scared not to play individuals. If you don't play well, you don't play.”
Latest to make an impact is 18-year-old Ched Evans, who scored after little more than two minutes on his full debut against the Pilgrims - like Croft, a Manchester City product.
“I didn't really know him at City when I was there because he was a lot younger” said Croft.
“But he came in on Tuesday night and he looked a threat from the start. He managed to get behind the defence, which is something we have needed for a while.”