Any time, anyhow, anywhere for Norwich City
Norwich City’s reshuffled Championship fixture list will not disrupt their promotion challenge, insists defender Marc Tierney.
The dates or kick-off times of five of the Canaries’ crucial final seven matches have been changed from the original schedule, and on four of those occasions their game will be the only one in the division taking place at the time.
Tonight’s meeting with Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium (5.20pm), switched from 3pm for live TV coverage, comes after all their rivals have finished playing, but a delayed start does not bother full-back Tierney or his team-mates.
He said: “It doesn’t really change anything for us. We will only concentrate on our game despite the fact that different games will be going on at different times.
“It happened the other week when there was a game that Leeds had already played. There was nothing really said about that. It was just about our game – the season is in our hands over the last seven games.”
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Tonight’s kick-off time will give the 2,000 travelling City fans making the 600-mile round trip a couple of extra hours to get to South Wales, the downside of that being a much later return home, but the team’s preparations will not be unduly affected.
“Although it is a bit strange, rather than religiously kind of prepare for three o’clock, everything will just be staggered in order that the preparation is right and at twenty past five, come kick-off, we’re right,” said Tierney.
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“We’re going to fly over to Swansea, which is fantastic – we’ll not be not stuck on a coach, getting a little bit stiff. We’ll get there, we’ll get rested and then instead of being prepared for three o’clock, it will be just gone five o’clock. I’m sure that won’t be a problem for the lads and the staff here.”
The 24-year-old Tierney has made nine appearances at left-back for City since his move from Colchester in January, starting the last six matches since he was preferred to Adam Drury at Barnsley.
He said: “It’s everything I hoped it to be, really, to settle into the team as quickly as I have. I probably hadn’t seen that coming due to having to regain my fitness, and with the strength of the squad, so on a personal note it’s been fantastic and with the team the way we’re going at the minute, in second position and trying to catch QPR, it’s absolutely brilliant.”
An awareness of just who is available on the bench is keeping every senior player on his toes, according to Tierney. Hat-trick hero Simeon Jackson and on-loan midfielder Henri Lansbury made an instant impact in the 6-0 win over Scunthorpe, while a string of senior players, including Drury, were not even in the 18.
“It’s frightening the players we are bringing on – bringing on the likes of Henri Lansbury to come and change the game and Sam (Vokes) coming on at the weekend and Jacko getting a hat-trick. That just shows the quality of the squad,” said Tierney.
“I had a chat with the manager when I came here and he said even to get on the bench in this team will be difficult and it’s still the case now.
“You look at the players who are left out of the squad at times and they’d get into any other side in the league, really. All the lads know they’ve got to be on their mettle to stay in the side and I think that’s providing good results. The positivity surrounding the club is brilliant. You can feel it in every training session and going into the game.”
That mood is reflected in the number of travelling fans for the longest journey of the season.
“We’ve heard the figures that are travelling over there and it’s absolutely frightening, especially as the game is live on television,” said Tierney. “People could have sat in their armchairs but they’re not like that round here, are they?
“They come and support in their droves and it’s absolutely fantastic. At every game it just amazes me, the quality of the support is fantastic. It definitely spurs the lads on and when we go to the Liberty Stadium, and we see our fans there, it definitely gives you that buzz and that extra little kick to go on and do wel. Hopefully we can do it for them.”