Back to normality after international break

Don’t you just hate them? Saturdays without football I mean - dreadful! Personally, I hate the international breaks. Watching England these days is no fun, I’d rather watch Norwich.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed watching the U21’s at Carrow Road last Friday night and am really pleased they qualified but it just wasn’t the same and I was supporting a team playing in blue and white!

 

So, back to normality this weekend and two very winnable home games coming up after a difficult away trip to the league leaders. Saturday will be tough but I’m still confident we can get a result, especially if we pick up from where we left off before the break.

 


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I’m glad to see the two players we had on international duty have come back unscathed and Bryan Flynn finally saw sense and played Andrew Crofts for the full 90 minutes on Tuesday night. I think it was a surprise to us all that he was originally left out of the squad.

 

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What a signing he’s been. I was a bit worried about losing Darel Russell, mainly for his experience in the Championship but I don’t think we have missed him. Crofts has not only shown us what an excellent midfielder he is but he’s also leading goalscorer at the moment.

 

It’s so important for a midfielder to chip in with a few goals, especially if the front two aren’t firing on all cylinders. It just goes to show how important having a full pre-season is. It really does stand you in good stead for the season ahead. We’ve seen it before with players, when they don’t get a good pre-season under their belt, they can struggle in the season.

 

I’m not suggesting Grant Holt is struggling but that lack of pre-season due to injury, does seem to be showing at the moment, he doesn’t look as sharp as he did last season but the more he plays the sharper he’ll get.

 

Mr Crofts is not the only one scoring, Simeon Jackson has started to find his feet at this level too and the goals he scores are not tap-ins, he absolutely hammers the ball into the net, which shows great confidence in your own ability.

 

All of this confidence comes back to one person time and time again - Paul Lambert. He has a knack of instilling confidence and self belief into the players.

 

Since he’s been here, we’ve gone from strength to strength, which got me thinking the other day about other clubs and their new managers, have they done as well as us? The simple answer is no.

 

Nigel Adkins went to Southampton, have that team hit the ground running, no they haven’t, Roy Keane’s taken over a year to get that team playing, Keith Millen at Bristol City, Roy Hodgson at Liverpool, although they’ve got other issues but the list can go on and on. There is quite simply no other manager who has had the impact that Paul Lambert has had. Long may it continue.

 

As I said I hate Saturdays without Norwich games and now can’t wait for the next week and who knows where we’ll be at the end of it. Overtaken Cardiff with a bit of luck!

 

• Don’t forget you can check your latest position in the Canary Challenge table at www.ncisa.co.uk

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