Iwan Roberts' approval for Crofts
Chris Lakey Andrew Crofts has taken Norwich City by storm since his summer move to Carrow Road - but Canaries legend Iwan Roberts says he's not surprised at the midfielder's impact.
Andrew Crofts has taken Norwich City by storm since his summer move to Carrow Road - but Canaries legend Iwan Roberts says he's not surprised at the midfielder's impact.
Crofts' performances since his summer arrival from Brighton have won praise from his manager and team-mates alike and he has just been named in the Football League's Team of the Week after his hugely impressive performance in the 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Roberts played alongside Crofts at Gillingham and has seen him in action for City this season - and he believes there are shades of another City legend in the 26-year-old.
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“I don't think he is the typical midfielder that the club has always produced,” said Roberts. “I would put him up there in similarity with Jerry Goss - no frills, no spills, you know what you are going to get.
“He's got an eye for a goal - he's no Chippy (Ian Crook), but what he will give you is he will wear his heart on his sleeve and if the going gets tough he won't go hiding.
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“It doesn't matter how many mistakes Crofty makes, he always shows for the ball, he is always willing and I think if you can get 11 Andy Crofts in your team then you have a great chance.”
Roberts says he isn't surprised that Crofts - who has been forced to pull out of the Wales squad for tomorrow's European Championship qualifying match in Montenegro because of a groin injury - has settled so quickly at Carrow Road: “He's a determined man,” he said. “He works his socks off in training - he trains like he plays. I'm not surprised by the way he has settled in at Norwich - I always knew he would score goals from midfield, it's one of his great strengths. He's a brave fellow, he's not afraid of putting his head in where it hurts if it means getting a goal.
“He has settled in really well. It's not the easiest thing when you move to a club to settle in and getting a goal in pre-season and getting a goal in his first game against Watford, even though they lost, helps as well.
“He's played at that level before - when he first got into the team at Gillingham he was outstanding. He doesn't care about reputations, he doesn't care who you are. If you are there to be got at he will get at you.
“He isn't afraid of tackling - I think I was a little bit harsh on him when he first signed for the club by saying that passing is not his strength - he looks as though he has improved on that. That's what Crofty's like - if he has got a weakness he will go out and he will work at it.”
Roberts will be in Montenegro tomorrow and the former City striker believes Wales will miss his presence on the bench.
“I think he will be missed,” said Roberts, now busy with media work for BBC Wales. “I'm not sure if he would have started, but he's a great option to have on the bench. If you have to shut up shop if you're winning the game by the odd goal and if they need someone to come in and dig a bit in midfield, he would be ideal.”