‘You get home and you are super moody, even to your kids and wife’ - how relegation worries affect Alex Tettey
- Credit: PA
Alex Tettey has revealed how the pain of Norwich City’s relegation battle affects his home life.
The midfielder is City’s longest serving player and has experienced the ups and downs of life at Carrow Road since signing in August, 2012.
But the prospect of dropping out of the Premier League doesn’t get any easier.
“It’s very difficult,” he said, in an interview with Sky Sports. “I thought I was immune, because I’ve experienced exactly what we’re going through before. I thought I’d think, ‘Yeh, I’ve been there, done that, I know how it feels, I know how to cope with it’, but now it’s the same.
“It gets to you because you care. You care about the club, the team-mates, and it gets to you. You can say, ‘It’s just football’, but it’s a struggle. I so want this club and my team-mates to be successful, that it’s tough to take. To be around relegation battle it does something to you, it’s not nice. It makes you stronger as a football player, being around this situation, how you cope with your emotions, but it’s not easy.”
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Tettey admits he takes the pain home with him.
“You get home and you are super moody, even to your kids and wife,” he admitted. “You are like, ‘Please don’t talk to me’. That’s how much it impacts us as players. How can you not talk to your kids and wife?! It’s just a football game. But it’s just a huge mental thing because you want to do better.
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“The game was on Saturday. Still on Sunday and Monday I was thinking about it. Still I am thinking, ‘I should have done better. Why didn’t I play my best game? Why didn’t I do this differently?’. And this goes on sometimes even until the day of the next game, where you totally leave it behind. It’s a huge psychological part of this situation. It really gets you to be honest.
“But that’s where you need to be mentally strong and cope with it. That’s how a lot of teams get out of these situations, because they know how to mentally cope with it. After a loss, they put it away and go again. That’s what the message has been, to try your hardest to put it away, because you need a frame of mind where you can push and go again and again and again. That’s what we are trying to do here.”
As City head to fellow strugglers Watford on Tuesday, with relegation seemingly inevitable, Tettey asks for understanding for supporters.
“I think for a fan to realise this, you obviously need to talk to the players, be around the players to know this,” he said. “It’s not like the whole squad goes out and talks about their emotions, how they are feeling. The fans only see what they see at the football game.
“Before you get to a football match, there is a lot of things happening for footballers. They judge us on what they see in that 90 minutes. But I will tell you this to the Norwich supporters; everyone who is working at the club is far from being happy with ourselves for where we are as a team. We are all in this together, and we are all feeling that we can do more, we should be better.
“It’s difficult for the fans, it’s difficult for the players, it’s the whole thing. It’s not about pointing fingers at someone and saying, ‘This is the problem’. We are all hurt. We don’t want to be here, if it was up to us we’d be in the Premier League for our whole life.
“We’ve missed the fans. The Norwich fans give you that feeling when there is an important game coming. Now, yes we feel they are there and watching, but it’s not the same as them being there. Having the fans makes the game, it can help you get the game going in your way, and can impact the other team with intimidation. I’ve been here eight years, and whenever the team comes out at Carrow Road, you know when it is a big game. We’ve missed this.”