Gym will fix it for Lappin
DAVID CUFFLEY New City recruit Simon Lappin is ready to head for the gym to beef himself up for the rigours of English football. The Scottish midfielder, with eight appearances under his belt for the Canaries since his January move from St Mirren, has quickly concluded that Championship football is a more physical battle than the Scottish Premier League.
New City recruit Simon Lappin is ready to head for the gym to beef himself up for the rigours of English football.
The Scottish midfielder, with eight appearances under his belt for the Canaries since his January move from St Mirren, has quickly concluded that Championship football is a more physical battle than the Scottish Premier League.
Lappin, who scored his first goal for City with a dramatic late winner at Luton a fortnight ago, goes into the game against Birmingham City at Carrow Road admitting: “I've seen the kind of physical difference - that's the biggest thing for me. It's up to me to get in the gym and adapt to that.
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“Everybody seems to be that bit bigger than myself when I come up against them. It's down to me to get in the gym and work on that.”
Lappin, listed as 5ft 11 in but just 9st 6lb, said it was not the speed of the game that was different in England.
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“The pace in Scotland is quite quick as well. It's a very good league, a very difficult league as well,” he insisted. “But the physical side of things here is the big difference and there is a better quality of player.
“That's not being disrespectful to the SPL because there are very good players and very good teams there as well, but it's a better league and I'm sure people in Scotland would agree with that.”
He said he was reasonably happy with his own performances so far, operating at left-back or left side of midfield, but admitted they “could be better”.
But he said: “I don't like to focus too much on myself. It's a team game. I'm happy to be playing. I've played in a number of positions and I'm quite happy to play anywhere the manager sees fit to play me.
“I prefer midfield if I'm being honest, but it doesn't bother me too much. You're quite happy to play anywhere as long as you're in the starting eleven and I'm no different. But it's about the team and getting points on the board.”
Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Cardiff disappointed the 24-year-old Scot after successive away victories at Luton and Barnsley.
He said: “The early goal didn't help. I don't think we got back from that until we started the second half. Maybe the damage was done by them. We didn't create too many clear-cut chances. Their 'keeper made a couple of good saves towards the end of the game but the first half has cost us.”
One of those saves from Cardiff 'keeper Neil Alexander came as Lappin went close to scoring with a replica of the free-kick that provided his late winner at Kenilworth Road.
He said: “I saw it go over the wall and the 'keeper managed to get a hand to it - and he made another great save a couple of minutes later from Dion. But the damage was already done in the first half. We didn't perform anywhere near as well as we can.”
Lappin is aware that City still need points to be sure of Championship football next season.
He said: “Nobody's taking it for granted that we're safe in that dressing room, I can guarantee you. There's a long way to go yet and a lot of football to be played.
“We'll approach Birmingham in the same manner as any other game. It would be great to beat the team at the top of the league and set our stall out to say we've done that against a team that's pushing to be in the Premiership, and show what we're capable of.
“They're a squad packed full of quality players. It will be another very, very difficult game. There are no easy games in this league at all. I knew that before I came here. It will be another tough test but it's one we're looking forward to.
“It's incredible playing in front of 20,000-plus every home game and the crowd have been superb. They get right behind us - even on Saturday when we lost the game, staying behind to applaud us. But we need to give them something to cheer about and start picking up points again.”