Drury's drive for new blood
DAVID CUFFLEY Skipper Adam Drury admits Norwich City's form over the next 10 days could be crucial to their chances of bringing in the new faces they want in the January transfer window.
Skipper Adam Drury admits Norwich City's form over the next 10 days could be crucial to their chances of bringing in the new faces they want in the January transfer window.
The Canaries' current position of 16th in the Coca-Cola Championship is not a huge incentive to ambitious players with their sights on a swift route to Premiership football, but a decent points haul from the next four games could give potential signings more encouragement.
City follow up tomorrow's trip to Wolves (3pm) with matches against Southend, Queen's Park Rangers and Crystal Palace - all of whom were below them in the table this morning.
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And after three successive defeats, Drury knows better results over the holiday period are essential if Peter Grant's men are not to drift totally out of range of the top six or, worse still, find themselves with a relegation battle on their hands.
He said: “No team in this division is too good to go down or get themselves involved in a relegation fight. This league's so tight and it only takes a run of games either way and you either get dragged into a relegation fight or battling for promotion.
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“It's a massive period in terms of confidence. If you come out of the Christmas period and you haven't got any good results and people are struggling for form and the team's not playing well, you're on a bad run. But if we can pick up a couple of wins, especially away from home, it can change things around and we've got to change it round quickly.”
He said he and his team-mates were aware they were playing for their places with the transfer window set to reopen.
“With January coming round and the transfer window opening, the gaffer's got his own ideas and he'll have his own players he wants to bring in and it's his first chance to do that. A lot of the players here aren't his players because he hasn't brought them in, so he'll be able to bring in new faces and change things how he wants in January,” said Drury. “Everyone knows we've got a small squad so I wouldn't be surprised to see players come in.”
A few wins would certainly help in Grant's recruitment drive.
Said Drury: “That can make a big difference. If there's a choice between us and a couple of other clubs, they might look at the table and see where we are. So if we're that bit higher and we look like we're going to be challenging, it might just swing the vote in our favour.”
He admitted: “A few of the lads getting back to fitness now gives us competition for places, but the main thing is we've got to turn our form around. We've lost three on the spin now and that's not good enough. We haven't been playing well and we don't deserve anything of late.”
Winger Lee Croft looks set to start his first senior match for eight weeks after playing 35 minutes of last week's 2-1 defeat Southampton.
“Crofty gives us a lot more natural balance with Darren Huckerby on the left and him on the right and it gives us two options where sometimes we get a bit one-sided. He gives us another outlet,” said Drury.
Grant's other main decision will be in the centre of defence. If, as expected, Jason Shackell returns after a one-match ban, Dion Dublin could switch to attack.