City fly to Swansea, courtesy of the board
Chris Lakey Delia Smith and her fellow directors have dipped into their pockets to ensure the Canaries are flying high at the end of what could prove to be a make-or-break weekend of Championship football.
Delia Smith and her fellow directors have dipped into their pockets to ensure the Canaries are flying high at the end of what could prove to be a make-or-break weekend of Championship football.
The City players and management team will fly to south Wales, courtesy of the board, this afternoon and be back soon after the final whistle blows on their first ever appearance at Swansea's Liberty Stadium.
While City's travelling fans face a 7am departure and a journey of more than 300 miles that could take up to six hours to complete, the players will get to Cardiff in an hour, and then have a similar into Swansea.
And they'll be back in Norwich before the fans have even reached the halfway point of their journey - giving them plenty of time to prepare for Monday's home game against Watford.
“It makes a massive difference,” said skipper Gary Doherty. “The last thing you want around Easter time is to be stuck in traffic. It would probably have taken us a good six, seven hours to get there and obviously the big worry is coming back as well because we have another massive game on Monday, so it's a weight off our minds that we are going to be flying up there. It will take about an hour and it's the right preparation really for such a big game.”
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Doherty was one of the players who paid to fly to the north-west a month ago for the match against Blackpool - a game which ended in a 2-0 defeat after a lacklustre performance. This time, City can barely afford to return empty-handed as the battle against the drop enters its final five games.
“They obviously wouldn't have done it if it had been a mediocre Championship game that you have all the time, but because of the importance of the game and the situation we are in we know it's a massive game and the preparation to go down there in an hour is fantastic for us and much appreciated,” added Doherty.
City boss Bryan Gunn assembled his squad yesterday afternoon and will keep them as a unit until the Watford game - and he says flying to south Wales will make a huge difference.
“It will on the return,” he said. “To get back quickly and to get the lads rested on Saturday night and in training on Sunday morning, that is the importance of this one.
“Swansea is a long way, away. I remember driving it myself once and it was a long, long way away.
“It's important you try and do things as best you can. We can get them back into Norwich mid-evening on a Saturday night hopefully in a buoyant mood and then rested up and ready for training on a Sunday morning and get all the lethargy and aches and pains seen to as soon as possible.”