Championship survival not yet guaranteed - Dion
Chris Lakey Dion Dublin has issued a stark warning that Norwich City's Championship status is still not guaranteed.
Dion Dublin has issued a stark warning that Norwich City's Championship status is still not guaranteed.
The veteran striker has been at the forefront of the transformation in fortunes under Glenn Roeder which appeared to have consigned relegation fears to the rubbish bin.
But the 1-0 defeat at Coventry on Saturday made it just five points from the last six games and seven points off the drop zone - and Dublin has warned that if there are any more dark days over the remaining nine games then City could find themselves dragged back into a relegation battle.
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“Are we safe? No, I don't think so,” said the straight talking veteran.
“We have no right to think we are safe either. It is all about pulling our socks up playing against Stoke on Tuesday and playing better and winning the game. We have to win the game on Tuesday.”
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City's gloom was compounded by two sendings off, with defender Gary Doherty and midfielder Darel Russell - who was playing his first game since serving a three-game suspension - dismissed for two bookable offences. Both now face two-game bans, starting against Stoke tomorrow night. Their dismissals didn't make life any easier for a City side forced into a major tactical revamp after Coventry had taken a sixth-minute lead.
“I just think Norwich were poor today, I can't really say anything else,” said Dublin. “And if we continue to play like that we have got to look over our shoulders again.
“We seem to have taken a step back, having done so well overall in the last 17, 18 games. We have done decent, yes, that run we went on was good, but if we start slipping back and thinking it's going to be easy and thinking that we're safe and thinking that the play-offs are there - no, no chance if we play like that.
“We are not good enough as a football team to play at 90pc, we are not good enough, simple as that, and if we do play at 90pc we are going to get beat. We have to have everybody playing 100pc, I don't mean trying 100pc, the quality has to be there, the passing has to be better.”
Dublin didn't exempt himself from criticism but did make one promise.
“I know I was poor today, but I won't be poor on Tuesday if I'm selected,” he said. “I will make sure my performance is better and I think everybody has got to do the same.”