Frustration for Etuhu

CHRIS WISE Dickson Etuhu admitted yesterday that he had failed to produce the goods for Norwich City since his big money move from Preston - and he is now desperate for an opportunity to make up for lost time.


Dickson Etuhu admitted yesterday that he had failed to produce the goods for Norwich City since his big money move from Preston - and he is now desperate for an opportunity to make up for lost time.

The powerfully-built midfielder has been little more than a bit-part player for the Canaries in recent weeks after losing his place in the starting line-up - and is likely to be on the bench again today as Nigel Worthington's team take on high-flying Leeds at Elland Road.

Etuhu is naturally disappointed to have been dropped so soon after completing a £450,000 switch to Carrow Road, but he fully accepts he has found it a struggle to settle at his new club and doesn't need to be told that his performances so far have been less than inspiring.

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With just 11 starts to his name since he first joined Norwich on loan in November - and no goals - it has been an extremely slow start for the City new-boy. But he insists he is now warming to the task and believes it won't be long before fans start seeing the real Dickson Etuhu on a week in, week out basis.

“The Norwich fans haven't seen the best of me yet, nowhere near,” he admitted. “I am very disappointed with the way my career has started. To be honest I haven't really been myself.

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“It has been hard to come into the side and be who I am because the team has been down and it has been very hard for us. We have had some bad results and it has been difficult for a new player coming in.

“I'm also trying to get used to a new area so it hasn't been the easiest of times for me, that's for sure.

“I don't know the full reason why I haven't been playing as well as I can do - but that certainly hasn't helped.”

Etuhu looked to be on the point of nailing down a regular place in the side in the New Year when he made seven straight starts. But, by and large, he failed to reproduce the sort of form that made him such a hot prospect at Manchester City and Preston and it was no big surprise when the axe fell.

He was withdrawn during the half-time interval of the East Anglian derby on February 5 and hasn't played a full game since, with most of his action coming in the reserves.

The fact that Etuhu's most recent appearance came at Hinckley Town - where Leicester's second string play their games - neatly summed up his recent fall from grace, but he is refusing to let his head drop.

“I thought I was getting into my stride by the time we played Ipswich, but unfortunately I was pulled out of the team after that one and I haven't been able to get back since,” he said. “I am sure I will get another chance sooner rather than later and then I will prove to everybody what I am about.

“I really hope I am in the team on Saturday because I have been waiting a while now. The manager picks the team and right now he is choosing other people. That's football and I have just got to get on with it.

“It has been frustrating for me. But I have just got to keep working hard in training and trying to prove that I am worth a place in the starting line-up.

“It's important to keep my fitness up and that's why I asked to play in the last two reserve games. I played a full game against Portsmouth and then I played 65 minutes the other night against Leicester. There is no point just going out training every day - you need games as well.

“If another reserve game comes up and I feel I need a game I will definitely be telling the gaffer that.”

City go into today's fixture at Elland Road seven points adrift of the play-off zone, with Preston, who currently hold the all-important sixth place, having a couple of games in hand. Etuhu reckons it's a case of win or bust for the Canaries now - and made it clear that he would be committed to the cause even he didn't make the team.

“As long as we get the points that's the most important thing for me right now,” he said.

“There is always a chance in this league. If Preston lose two games and we win a couple then all of a sudden we would be right back in there. No-one here is going to give up while there is a chance of reaching the play-offs. All we can do is concentrate on getting the right results, and see where that takes us.

“We have got nothing to lose now. If we are to stay in with a chance of going up then we have got to beat Leeds and that's what we will be trying to do. There are a lot of good players in this squad and we need to prove that at Elland Road. Hopefully I will get a chance to do my bit, but we will just have to wait and see about that.”

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