Fozzy: 'Not the time to be going out'

Paddy Davitt Norwich skipper Mark Fotheringham yesterday backed Glenn Roeder's hard line stance on post match partying.

Paddy Davitt

Norwich skipper Mark Fotheringham yesterday backed Glenn Roeder's hard line stance on post match partying.

Fotheringham refused to confirm national media reports Roeder had slapped a total nightclub ban on his squad following Matty Pattison's conviction for drink driving.

City's skipper is adamant securing the club's Championship status remains the players' number one priority.

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“What is said in the dressing room will stay in the dressing room,” said Fotheringham. “But we're old enough and experienced enough to know it's not the right time to be going out. We need to concentrate fully on the games and we have been doing. I'd be surprised if any of the players are out for the next month. We know what is expected of us and the most important thing is to stay in this league. That comes from the youngest player at the club to the oldest. We know what our responsibilities are and if anyone steps out of line they will get hammered. Everybody is fighting for places so you have to be on your toes. Not just for the games but training as well because with the quality the gaffer has brought in you would get embarrassed.”

Fotheringham is acutely aware of his privileged position.

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“Some young players make mistakes but in my eyes we get paid a lot of money to do the best job in the world,” he said. “I go out and play professional football in front of 25,000 fans every other week. Even if you are sitting at the bottom of the table with pressure it's not a bad pressure. My Dad's a scaffolder and he goes out to work every day. I get to kick a ball about for 90 minutes. It's a fantastic life and if that means sacrificing a few things for a few weeks then it's not much of a sacrifice.

“We've got a lot of good professionals at the club. A lad like Darren Huckerby never takes a day off never mind going for a night out. We have good characters here. To be honest with you as club captain I don't even think about those things. All we are thinking about is winning games. Going out and all that should be on the back burner. It's massive for this club that we stay in the Championship.”

Fotheringham revealed advanced talks over his new contract can wait until City's short term future has been resolved.

“I'm not thinking about the contract,” he said. “Since I've come back from injury I can say I've just prepared 110% for each game and given absolutely everything to the team. No matter what happens I can look back at the end of the season and say I was ready for every single challenge.

“I love it here, my family is settled and this is a great club. I don't see any reason why I can't be here for another two or three years. These things are not up to me. It's up to my agent to sit down but it's not important - safety comes first. We've got a good squad of players and I'm sure the contract will take care of itself. Glenn says no one player is bigger than this team and that's a really big motto. When I finish or Dion Dublin or Darren Huckerby finish this great club will still be here.”

Fotheringham senses Norwich are in the mood to serve up another Colchester-type Carrow Road display against play off chasing Burnley this weekend.

“In the last home game we took nearly all our chances,” he said. “We looked good going forward and good defending as well. I think someone is due another doing. We know it's going to be tough. Burnley will be well up for it with a lot to play for as they have a sneaky chance of the play offs. They are a good side with excellent players and some lads who have attracted interest from Premiership teams. They've also got some good older experienced players who have played a lot of games in this division so we know it's a tough test but it's like that every week.”

The former Celtic trainee is convinced the Canaries' remain on the right path despite Saturday's cruel late setback against table topping Bristol City.

“We just need to keep playing the way we are and points will come,” he said. “We can't be too negative with ourselves because we thrashed Bristol City who are first in the league and we passed them off the park. We have to take the positives from that.

“The way we've been training the last month and a half is unbelievable. If you could come up to the training ground and see the tempo - even among the guys who are doing their own work. It's all in our hands. When we were on eight points it didn't look too good but Glenn has come in and turned it around. If you had given us this opportunity and where we are now back then every single one of the players would've bitten your hand off.

“We're in the driving seat and the performances show we are confident. At the same time the fans will be disappointed that we are not getting the results but we are trying everything.”

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