'Let's start by beating Ipswich'
CHRIS LAKEY Glenn Roeder claims the East Anglian derby against Ipswich this weekend is the perfect platform on which to launch the rebirth of Norwich City Football Club.
Glenn Roeder claims the East Anglian derby against Ipswich this weekend is the perfect platform on which to launch the rebirth of Norwich City Football Club.
The timing of the Tractor Boys' visit couldn't have been better for the new man in charge at Carrow Road, despite a gap which now stands and 13 points and 20 Championship places.
“I couldn't have a better game to start, especially at home,” said Roeder. “I am sure by the time the kick-off comes the boys will be ready for it. For me that game, because of our present situation, as far as I am concerned is a win-win situation for us. I know outside our own supporters the majority of people will not be expecting us to win the game, which is how I like it.
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“It is a question of getting that first win. There is nothing better for confidence than winning. No matter what I say, winning a game of football will help them, help me, immensely.
“The sooner we do it the better. We have a super opportunity at the weekend to certainly get the fans on our side - I certainly know how important it is. Newcastle Sunderland is a massive game in the north-east and this is equally as massive here in East Anglia, Norwich and Ipswich is a very appealing fixture to win.
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“It is appealing to win every game, but particularly one against your close rivals who, you have to say, are going well at the moment.
“Even our home supporters will come into the ground maybe doubting, but it is up to us in that opening 10, 5 minutes to show the crowd what our intentions are and hopefully if we need a little bit of luck to win the game please God we get it and we get through the coming weeks and months to get us out of the position we are in before we can start playing in a bit more of a relaxed manner and the way I want the team to play.
“We certainly know it can't be achieved overnight. It is going to be a long process during this coming winter we are now going into, but we are all aiming for the same results come the end of the seasons, and that is to finish as high up the table as is possible.”
Roeder admits to not having seen too much of City's start to the season, but said he is looking for strong characters to wipe out the lack of confidence he believed was evident during the televised game at QPR - and that he has sought advice from an “inside” source he declined to name.
“I haven't seen a lot of Norwich, but I will be making my own judgement on players over this coming week before the big game, and it is a big game,” he said. “Every game is going to be big - it's going to be tough for the rest of the season and over the coming weeks.
“Although I have sought the advice of one person in particular who knows the squad very well I didn't seek any other advice because I want to make my own judgment on the players and not have that clouded by other people's opinions.
“It is too early for me to pass opinion, certainly about individuals. My record has proved I don't discuss individuals publicly anyway - I never enjoyed working for a manager that did that, but there is obviously a lot of work to be done at the training ground.
“I have got to get to know the players, form opinions about them, on their ability, their characters - because their character is going to come into play in our situation, very much so.
“Hopefully there are strong characters in the squad already and hopefully we will be able to add to the squad with some stronger characters in the near future as well, but I need to assess them first.”
The only City player Roeder has worked with before is Dion Dublin, who was called into the England squad in the late 1990s when Roeder worked as a coach for then manager Glenn Hoddle.
“I found him an excellent person, first of all, which is important, and an excellent player as well,” recalled Roeder. “Otherwise he wouldn't have been in the England squad. I am sure he wouldn't have changed. People normally don't change, they are what they are and I am looking forward to meeting Dion later on and getting him fit again, because obviously the senior players are going to be very important to the team.
“They often can have a big influence on what goes on on the pitch and help the manager by having that influence on the pitch and Dion is that kind of influential player, inspirational.
“I know he is 38, but again age doesn't bother me; whether they are 16, 17, 18 or whether they are 38, if they can do the job for Norwich City they will be in there playing and helping achieve the result we want to get back up the table.