Getting nasty and dressing room barnies - City old boy's relegation advice
- Credit: James Bass/Archant
Former Norwich City loanee and now pundit Peter Crouch can see the relegation warning signs for the Canaries.
Crouch, who made 15 appearances in a league winning season under Nigel Worthington, knows the pain of Premier League demotion from his playing days with both Southampton and Stoke City.
The former England international, writing in his latest Daily Mail column, is offering Daniel Farke and his squad the benefit of his experiences to avoid a similar fate.
City lost their fifth straight league game, 3-1 to Watford on Saturday, to confirm the club's worst ever start to a season.
"The relegation we suffered at Southampton in 2005 will always stick with me. The lack of confidence in the dressing room, the acceptance of defeats.
"It springs to mind when looking at the Premier League table, with Norwich City losing their opening five matches.
"We won only one of our first 12 games that year and it can overwhelm the group. It certainly did with us. We expected to get beaten. When that dressing room is silent, that is when you know you are bang in trouble.
"If there is an acceptance of losing, nobody is pulling anybody or showing anger to rectify the situation, you have yourselves a team going down.
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"Even when we led games by the odd goal, I just knew the opposition were always going to get one. And they nearly always did. It is such a deflating mentality and getting out of that funk is almost impossible.
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"Hopefully it has not crept in at Carrow Road. Either way, Daniel Farke has a huge challenge on his hands in the coming weeks.
"At Southampton, the deflation and lack of confidence consumed us all. One player turned to the manager at half-time and just said that he had gone. He was having a torrid time and was mentally done.
"He asked to come off, his confidence shot to pieces. The manager kept him on and he had a nightmare. We lost.
"The anger and needle is what teams need down the bottom. There were a few inquests in the dressing room and that is what is required when times are tough.
"With the manager, you want him to remain composed in front of the cameras but behind closed doors not let people shirk responsibility or simply perform badly. He has to dig them out.
"There is also room for getting a bit nasty with your opponents. Norwich, for example, have attacked teams in the past when you just should not.
"I have experience of being in horrible, niggly sides at Stoke City and later in my career, Burnley.
"We would go to Manchester City, Arsenal and others to get results by going at it a bit ugly. People applaud nice football, we see it all the time with the top managers.
"They always compliment teams for playing the right way because they have just beaten them 4-0."