Boss is bringing out best in Bertrand
Michael Bailey Ryan Bertrand is revelling under his new manager Bryan Gunn - and believes Norwich's forthcoming fixtures could bring out the best in his side. The Chelsea starlet has been back to his best since the Canaries' dug-out changes, something the 19-year-old England Under-21 international is happy to acknowledge.
Ryan Bertrand is revelling under his new manager Bryan Gunn - and believes Norwich's forthcoming fixtures could bring out the best in his side.
The Chelsea starlet has been back to his best since the Canaries' dug-out changes, something the 19-year-old England Under-21 international is happy to acknowledge.
“In a strange way, I've felt an abundance of confidence in the last three games, so I'm really happy with my form so far, so long may it continue,” said Bertrand, who is on-loan from Stanford Bridge until the end of the season.
“It's been really good the way Bryan and the guys have come in. They've brought their own ideas in, with Chippy and the gaffer, and the boys have taken to them really well, training has been buzzing so hopefully it can just go forward and get positive.”
Having picked up five Championship points from three key relegation fixtures, Norwich now face league leaders Wolves, tomorrow night, and play-off chasing Preston and Burnley during the coming month, but Bertrand believes the different pressure of facing a promotion challenging team could be to Norwich's benefit.
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“I think with the last few games, it will benefit us more and I think we'll grow in confidence from that, because the last few games have been must wins,” said Bertrand.
“I think the emphasis will be on them to come out and beat us.
“Everyone will be expecting them to roll us over but I think that won't be the case.
“It's a big two games, with Bristol as well, but the main focus is at Molineux with Wolves, so we can go there and hopefully apply ourselves right.
“And we've show before against them what we can do, so I'm pretty sure it'll be okay if everyone rests and recovers right, because it's been hard.
“We've had a game the other day, a game today, so that'll take its toll. If we put in a good team effort we should hopefully come away with some sort of result.”
But Bertrand believes Norwich pulled out an excellent defensive display during the 1-1 draw against Doncaster on Friday night - one first half lapse apart - and the menu of brave blocks and confident defending will have to be repeated as Norwich look to extend their current unbeaten mini-run.
“It's both sides of the game, we've got the attacking side and when we're going forward, but the most important thing is the defending, to try and not concede,” he said.
“And when we are under the cosh for 10, 15 minutes, just to get everyone in nice and solid and protect the goal for that period of time.
“As we've proved, we managed to beat them 5-2 so I'm pretty sure if we can keep our performance levels up as we have been and keep this small unbeaten run, hopefully we can make it like last season.”
Meanwhile, Darel Russell believes he should have protected himself better after an elbow ended his game at the Keepmoat Stadium prematurely.
However, the Norwich City midfielder is confident he will be available for the Canaries' tough trip to face Wolves.
Matt Mills' aerial challenge late in the first half saw the Norwich midfielder replaced by Carl Cort and Russell was clearly angry with the Rovers centre-back.
The Canaries midfielder was taken to hospital where it was confirmed he only had a severely swollen eyebrow to show from the clash, and no further damage.
“I'm good now, just came back from the hospital and there's no fracture there, which they initially thought there might have been,” said the 28-year-old, having just returned to the stadium following his short hospital stay on Friday evening.
“So that is good news, there's just a little bit of swelling and hopefully I can get it down and be okay for the next game.
“It is just underneath the orbit of the eye. The guy left a naughty little elbow in the corner of my eye there, so lucky for me that I haven't done more damage, but as long as they can get the swelling down I should be okay.
“I've seen the guy, as I came across I saw him lift his elbow, he took a look and lifted his elbow and I just wish I had got my arms up a little higher myself to protect myself.
“I am more frustrated at not protecting myself a little better when I went up and letting him do that, but these things happen in the game.”
Although Russell left the pitch with Norwich behind to Paul Heffernan's header, City recovered and Jonathan Grounds scored a deserved second-half equaliser - a goal welcomed by at least one of Doncaster's patients.
“I was glad when I heard the result at hospital, that the boys got it back to one each, and that is three games unbeaten.
“So I am looking forward to Tuesday now and hopefully we can continue this unbeaten run.”