Colin: We can bounce back from this

DAVID CUFFLEY Dutch defender Jürgen Colin today backed Norwich City to bounce back quickly from their opening day defeat at Leeds - and is determined to grab his chance of regular first-team football this season.


Dutch defender Jürgen Colin today backed Norwich City to bounce back quickly from their opening day defeat at Leeds - and is determined to grab his chance of regular first-team football this season.

A penalty from former Carrow Road loan striker David Healy was enough to decide Saturday's Coca-Cola Championship curtain-raiser at Elland Road, a result that already puts the onus on Nigel Worthington's men to pick up points from home games against Preston North End tomorrow (7.45pm) and Luton Town on Saturday.

But 25-year-old Colin, who did a sound job marking Leeds' lively American winger Eddie Lewis, insists the Canaries will give their home crowd something to celebrate.

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“If we start the same way as today, we're definitely going to win the game,” said Colin after Saturday's defeat. “I think we played a good game, especially in the first half. We played good football, we had a couple of chances in the first half, a couple of chances in the second, and we had bad luck with the penalty.”

New signing Lee Croft conceded the decisive spot-kick five minutes before half-time when he managed to fell both Eirik Bakke and Steve Stone in the same challenge. The £600,000 capture from Manchester City was then substituted early in the second half with cramp.

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But Colin argued: “I don't think it was a penalty because I saw it from the front and I think the referee was looking from behind, so the only thing that he saw was the fall - that the player was falling on the ground.

“I saw Lee coming in front of him and he kicked the ball away and then the Leeds player jumped on the floor. But you can do nothing about it, it's the referee's decision.”

Colin became something of a forgotten man in the second half of last season, making just one first-team appearance after the end of January, but has been first choice at right-back in City's pre-season programme and it's a job he wants to keep.

He said: “The gaffer and Martin Hunter talked to me about what they expect from me and what I have to do to play in the team - and I want to play in the team. I feel good, my fitness is good and I had a good-pre-season and hopefully I will get better.”

Worthington echoed Colin's view on the spot-kick when he said: “I thought the penalty was a little bit harsh. It was a loose ball, bodies coming together and it's gone in Leeds' favour.”

But the City boss was heartened by his side's performance as striker Robert Earnshaw struck the woodwork twice and was foiled three times by on-loan 'keeper Tony Warner.

He said: “I'm very pleased to come to Leeds and put a performance on like that - to create the chances that we created.

“We didn't take our chances, which was disappointing, but that will happen. You know Earnshaw for sure in this league will score goals, just as long as we keep creating the chances.

“There must have been four or five chances created and to come away and do that is very pleasing but it would have been nice to come away with a good result.

“I think the Leeds people will say we deserved something from the game but we've got to get ourselves ready for Tuesday night and ready to go again.”

Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell believes his side took a giant stride towards getting last season's play-off final defeat by Watford out of their system with their victory over the Canaries.

“We're up and running now. Whether it exorcises the ghost completely I don't know, that remains to be seen,” said Blackwell.

“But what it does do is let the lads know that if they start feeling sorry for themselves it'll be a long, hard season.”

Asked if he felt his side were fortunate to take all three points, Blackwell said Leeds had created plenty of opportunities of their own.

“Horsfield missed a sitter, Eddie Lewis missed a sitter, David Healy had a great chance in the first half - shall I go on?

“I expect teams to create chances against us. It's all right going on about the chances Norwich created. What about the ones we created?”

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