Etuhu looks to repay faith
CHRIS WISE Dickson Etuhu was given a golden opportunity to impress by his manager - and he is determined to take it. The Norwich City midfielder has struggled to find his best form since completing a £450,000 switch from Preston in January and recently spent the best part of two months on the sidelines, even though he was fully fit.
Dickson Etuhu was given a golden opportunity to impress by his manager - and he is determined to take it.
The Norwich City midfielder has struggled to find his best form since completing a £450,000 switch from Preston in January and recently spent the best part of two months on the sidelines, even though he was fully fit.
But he was recalled to the starting line-up last Saturday for the meeting with his former club and has been told he will feature in the remaining four games of the campaign as well providing he steers clear of injury.
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Asked whether the player would be starting against Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow, manager Nigel Worthington commented: “Dickson will get another run-out at Hillsborough and he will play between now and the end of the season, barring a knock.”
That's exactly what Etuhu wanted to hear and after a low-key return to action at Deepdale last weekend he has now got his sights set on making a big impression between now and the end of the month.
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“It's a very important time for me,” he said. “I have waited very patiently for my chance and I am determined to make the most of it.
“It's in my hands now, I know that. I have got to play well and show the manager and the supporters what I can do.
“For me the season starts on Saturday because I have not really had much of an opportunity yet. I'll be taking the game deadly seriously, as will all the lads.”
Since joining the Canaries on loan in November Etuhu has been limited to just 16 appearances and has rarely displayed the sort of form that made him such an admired player at Manchester City and Preston. There have been no goals, and few eye-catching displays - and it was no big surprise when he was dropped from the side after the home defeat against Ipswich on February 5.
He was then restricted to reserve games and the occasional brief first team run-out from the bench before making his comeback last weekend. Etuhu freely admits he has failed to produce the goods on a regular basis so far, but he still found it tough to cope with a lengthy spell out of the limelight.
“Some times it was hard, I won't deny that,” he said. “I am no different to any other player - I want to be involved in the first team.
“I have been up and down since I have been here - in fact I have never really been myself. I have been quite rough on myself to be honest because I know things haven't gone well.
“But I have always been confident in my own ability - and I always knew that sooner or later I would be back. This is a fresh start - and I am really looking forward to it.”
It won't be easy for Etuhu to make an impact, given his lack of games recently - but he knows he must overcome concerns over his match fitness to stake a claim for a regular place in the starting line-up.
“It's not easy because I haven't really been involved recently,” he said. “I'll need to get fit quickly so I can make an impact in the games that are left. I am not going to have full match fitness because I went a while without playing any games at this level. Reserve football is not the same.
“But I am not really thinking about that. I'll just be concentrating on doing my very best for Norwich City.
“A goal or two would be nice, but first and foremost I want to play well and help us win games, that's the No.1 priority for me.
“Take it from me from me, everyone here wants to win, and the fact that we can no longer get promoted doesn't change that. The fact that we lost our last one has made us even more determined to get the right result on Saturday.”