Canaries ace Russell has no fear
David Cuffley On the ball, City, never mind the scoreboard - it's a philosophy that midfielder Darel Russell believes is the secret behind the League One leaders' run of comeback victories.
On the ball, City, never mind the scoreboard - it's a philosophy that midfielder Darel Russell believes is the secret behind the League One leaders' run of comeback victories.
Russell was recalled after a three-match ban on Saturday as Paul Lambert's men hit back from a goal down to end Huddersfield's unbeaten home record with a thrilling 3-1 success in front of 3,000 travelling fans.
It was the fifth time in nine matches that the Canaries had come from behind to win. They also secured four draws in the first half of the season from losing positions, one of them when Russell scored a stoppage-time equaliser at Gillingham - evidence of a stubborn refusal to accept defeat that has permeated the whole squad.
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The 29-year-old said City's answer to going behind had been not to think about the score, but to concentrate on playing their way, in the belief that goals will follow.
He said: “I think people are looking at the fact that we've gone behind and keep winning these games, but the bottom line is I don't think we worry about what the scoreline is.
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“We've got that much quality and belief that we can always come back.
“If we're behind it's because we haven't imposed ourselves on the game, or mistakes have happened, not from being outplayed - and generally we've managed to work the openings.
“It shows our superior strength and fitness in the later part of games.”
City were a goal down inside three minutes at the Galpharm Stadium and struggled in the first half, but the quality shone through in the end as skipper Grant Holt and two-goal Stephen Elliott secured three points.
“It was a bit of a scrappy goal we conceded,” said Russell. “It was just bad marking on the corner that cost us, putting us on the back foot for longer than we needed to be.
“But once we got a foothold in the game, we showed our great strength and quality to be able to coast to a win at the end.
“We don't go out there to draw games, we go out there to win every game, even if we're one behind. We've done it at Brighton, put four or five up front and really tried to win the game.”
Russell discovered an hour before kick-off that he was back in the starting line-up at the expense of winger Anthony McNamee, who featured in three straight wins while the midfielder was suspended.
“The team did great in my absence and the manager showed great faith in bringing me back. It's great to get a great win and be part of that again,” said Russell.
“For me, it was just a matter of trying to continue where I'd left off and it took me probably 20 minutes to get back into the swing of things. After that we dominated and kept going and got the right result in the end.”
Russell said on Friday that every game Huddersfield played was one game closer to the end of their unbeaten home run, and after 10 wins and seven draws in front of their own fans, they finally came unstuck.
“What more can we want? All the results went our way and we've come here to a team that's got a fantastic home record and we've absolutely ruined it,” he said.
“When you have a lot of travelling fans they want to see a result to make their trip worthwhile, and I hope we've given them something to cheer.”
As City prepare to face two more promotion candidates - Swindon away and Leeds at home - it seems certain that four wins from the final 10 games will be enough to go up, perhaps even fewer given the way their rivals keep slipping up. But Russell said he did not know where the finishing post lay.
“I think as a playing staff and coaching staff we're looking to achieve as many points as we possibly can over the next 10 games and as long as we keep picking up those points, it takes care of itself,” he said.