All about survival
Michael Bailey Assistant manager Ian Butterworth wants to see Norwich City consumed with the R-word against Burnley on Saturday - but not the one you would think. Responsibility is the order of the day and Butterworth is hoping both the Carrow Road crowd and Norwich players use it to help pull the club out of the Championship relegation zone.
Assistant manager Ian Butterworth wants to see Norwich City consumed with the R-word against Burnley on Saturday - but not the one you would think.
Responsibility is the order of the day and, with talk of Norwich dropping out of English football's second tier increasingly on the lips of Canaries fans in recent weeks, Butterworth is hoping both the Carrow Road crowd and Norwich players use it to help pull the club out of the Championship relegation zone.
“It is a responsibility on us all,” said manager Bryan Gunn's assistant, with play-off pushing Burnley next up for the Canaries on Saturday.
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“The crowd have been fantastic. We've been struggling since virtually the start of the season really, and the crowd can play a huge part. They've got to be vociferous as much as they can, and I'm sure they'll turn up on Saturday in full force, ready to shout the lads on.
“That's the main thing, that they get right behind the team and I think they will. They've been excellent for a side who's struggling, and they keep getting the 25,000. It's amazing.
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“So we're looking for them to get behind the players and us to provide that spark on the pitch, so we can make it really hostile for Burnley.
“If they can do that, make it intimidating, that would be brilliant and that's what we're looking for. But we've got to provide that spark, we've got to give them something to shout for on the football pitch.”
Butterworth believes there is no denial at Colney about the position City find themselves in - put in stark context last night, after wins for Watford and Barnsley dropped the Canaries in the bottom three for the first time this season.
“We've been working hard with them, I think they're aware of this thing now,” said Butterworth, whose own future at Carrow Road - like that of Gunn and first team coach Ian Crook - may well be decided by which division City find themselves in next season.
“We had a few words in the dressing room away to Preston and a couple of things this week. We haven't overcooked it, we've just made them aware that it's a dog fight.
“And like we've said to them, we want to stay at this club, it's a great club and that's why we're here. It's an honour to work for this football club, but we're going to make sure we're in the Championship next year.”
Despite forecasts of doom and gloom from some fans for the remainder of the season, Butterworth revealed it was not difficult to lift the players after Saturday's 1-0 defeat at promotion-chasing Preston and, with a little bit of luck, optimism may make a return against City's next Lancastrian opponents.
“Nothing was decided last week,” he added. “At the end of the day, they were disappointed with the result. The performance was decent, but on Saturday we want to make sure we get the three points - and a little bit of lady luck as well.
“I think the luck has been down with us a little in the last few games, and that's got to turn a little bit. So hopefully that's on our side on Saturday.
“There's plenty of football to be played. We've got to make sure that we're switched on and focused, and we're confident that we can get the results.
“Confidence is a big part in it, so hopefully we can start with that on Saturday against Burnley. We need to start winning games pretty quickly,” added the former City skipper.
“I think everyone realises we're in a dog fight, I think people probably knew that a couple of months ago, that we seemed to be on a downward spiral.
“So we've got to make sure that we can keep the confidence of the boys, have a plan, and make sure we are difficult to beat and we get some wins.
“There are a few things to change but we're not going to change it over night. The immediate thing is to work with the players and get those points on the board.
“We've got 13 games left, lots of points, so we have to make sure we get down to the job pretty quickly.”