Fozzy: Players were to blame

David Cuffley City skipper Mark Fotheringham believes axed manager Glenn Roeder “had his hands tied” because of a lack of money to improve his squad.Fotheringham said the players had to take the blame for the results that led to Roeder's dismissal on Wednesday after 15 months in charge, but the Scottish midfielder argued that the loss of funds for team strengthening in the summer had been a major blow.

David Cuffley

City skipper Mark Fotheringham believes axed manager Glenn Roeder “had his hands tied” because of a lack of money to improve his squad.

Fotheringham said the players had to take the blame for the results that led to Roeder's dismissal on Wednesday after 15 months in charge, but the Scottish midfielder argued that the loss of funds for team strengthening in the summer had been a major blow.

“It's us that's got the manager the sack and it's as simple as that,” he said. “The managers in all these cases at football clubs take the bullet, but it's really the players that are under-performing, and each and every one of us hasn't done well enough this season.


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“But you've got to remember, in my opinion, we need a little bit of help as well - I think the manager had his hands tied behind his back at times, especially when the investment was pulled out at the start of the season.

“He never got the players that he wanted to bring in and the job he did last year was a good enough job to keep the club in the league, but when anybody loses �3m worth of investment it's a lot of money in the Championship.

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“You look at teams like Nottingham Forest who can bring in Earnie (Robert Earnshaw) and boys like (Joe) Garner who they paid �1m to Carlisle for, off the bench. That's the difference. They've got strength in depth in the squad. I think we've only got eight senior players contracted to the club.”

As the Canaries began their Championship survival bid against Barnsley at Carrow Road today, with head of recruitment Bryan Gunn in temporary charge of the side, 25-year-old Fotheringham admitted the battle to stay up was even tougher than last season.

“Of course it is,” he said. “Glenn had his targets he wanted to bring in on a very limited budget and we understand that. But the squad is the squad that we have at the moment. The only pleasing thing is there will be room to manoeuvre to bring players in. Like you say, we do need help.

“There are lads that are playing out of position most weeks. We've got Gary Doherty who's the only recognised centre-back at the club at the moment. Anybody can see that, even people that don't understand football, so we're playing to our limits at the moment.

“If we have any injuries we're in a bad situation. We need to wrap these guys in cotton wool because they're very important at the moment, and whoever comes in will look to strengthen, I'm sure of that.

“Whoever comes in, it is going to be a hard job for him. I don't know if there's a lot of money out there for him to work with and there are only two and a bit weeks of the window left, but to be honest with you it's not the players' concern, we've got to concentrate on what we've got at the club.

“We are desperate to do well for Norwich. The players don't go out there intentionally looking to lose games but we need a little bit of strengthening and a little bit of help.

“We're in a fight now so we need to really start fighting - fight a lot harder than we are at the moment because this is a great club and as you can see the fans aren't happy, and rightly so, because we're at the bottom end of the table and it's not good enough.”

Fotheringham rejected suggestions that Roeder had lost the dressing room.

“I've heard a few reports from outside the club, which doesn't help, saying the players weren't playing for the manager. Some players have fall-outs with managers, it happens at all clubs, but I can assure you the players were trying for the manager on the pitch. You could see that up at Sheffield United and in a lot of the away games this year.

“Trust me, you don't go out and beat teams like Ipswich, draw against Birmingham beat Sheffield United at home and beat Wolves the way we did if you're not playing for your manager.”

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