Dublin warns City to mind the drop
CHRIS LAKEY Dion Dublin has issued a stark warning to his Norwich City team-mates - we're not out of danger yet. The Canaries are 11 points off the last relegation place with five games left, and a win over Leicester - one of the eight teams below them - on Saturday, would surely see them survive.
Dion Dublin has issued a stark warning to his Norwich City team-mates - we're not out of danger yet.
The Canaries are 11 points off the last relegation place with five games left, and a win over Leicester - one of the eight teams below them - on Saturday, would surely see them survive.
But the veteran striker says City's lack of consistency could come back to haunt them, even at this late stage of the season.
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“I think we are not out of it yet,” said the 37-year-old. “Mathematically we are still there. If we don't do well in the next five games then we are in trouble, so there is no overlooking that.
“We have to be consistent in the next five games in order to get out of potentially a relegation fight. Yes, we are far enough away to take a deep breath, but if we don't perform over the next two or three games and the teams below us do, then we are in the mess.”
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The lack of consistency has dogged City's season - exemplified by last weekend's holiday programme, when a 2-1 win at Hull was followed by a 2-1 home defeat by West Brom.
And while Saturday's opponents - now under the charge of former City boss Nigel Worthington - have even bigger problems, Dublin insists it's a tale of two cities, not one.
“We need them (the points) as much as Leicester do,” he said. “Our consistency this year has been rubbish, we haven't been good enough. The application has been right every week, but I just think we haven't had the luck.
“We haven't been consistent enough and if you are not consistent in a league this hard, and some teams in this league are very, very good, you are going to end up where we are - in a poor position.”
The Canaries' cause hasn't been helped by another raft of injuries, which could see Dublin switching back to a central defensive role because of injuries to Jason Shackell and Gary Doherty.
Wherever he starts, though, the trip back to the Walkers Stadium for a player who spent a year and a half of his career with his hometown club, will be one to remember.
“It'll be great,” he said. “I love it, love playing there, love the fans. It is a great stadium. The fans have always been good to me and I have nothing bad to say about the club, the fans, the team or anything at all
“I know it is going to be a very difficult game. If the players get a chance to kick me and the fans get a chance to boo me then they will do - if I'm selected - so we will have to wait and see on that one. But I always look forward to going back to the Walkers it's a great place to play.”
The extra spice to the fixture comes from the involvement of Worthington, although Dublin - who was the ex-City manager's last signing back in September - admits he was surprised at the events that saw the demise of Rob Kelly on Wednesday.
“I was shocked really, to be honest,” he said. “I know Rob Kelly quite well because he was there while I was there for a little while and he is a good man,” said Dublin.
“I feel sorry for him, but that's the way football is at the moment; if you don't do the job over a certain amount of games you seem to get the bullet as a manager. And Nigel going in - it is going to be interesting. He knows all about us, so come Saturday we will have our work cut out.”
Dublin believes his old team will stay up - even with only five games to impose himself.
“I am sure Nigel going in as well is going to just make it that little easier,” he said. “He will pass over his nous to the players and with it being my hometown I hope they will be safe.
“He has five games - it is hardly anything to establish the way that you manage and the way that you coach, but that is their prerogative I suppose, they are in charge - it is up to Nigel to prove he is good enough to get result, hopefully starting after Saturday.”