Lita on board for third tour of duty
David Cuffley Striker Leroy Lita was today preparing to begin his third month on loan with Norwich City - after helping them to a memorable East Anglian derby victory.
Striker Leroy Lita was today preparing to begin his third month on loan with Norwich City - after helping them to a memorable East Anglian derby victory.
Lita, who has scored six times in 12 games during two months at Carrow Road, revealed that everything was in place for him to extend his stay with the Canaries.
After the 2-0 victory over Ipswich Town, he said: “There is no problem with me staying another month until January 1. It's no problem, I'll be back in training here tomorrow and probably sign the papers tomorrow.
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“I won't be able to play at Reading next Saturday. But I'll look forward to the next game at Watford on Wednesday.
“It's a tough game but we know we can win. With a great result today, we need to start showing that consistency now.”
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Lita gave the Town defence a busy afternoon with a tireless display as the lone striker on duty, but rated goalkeeper David Marshall's second-half save from Jon Walters every bit as crucial as the goals from Lee Croft and Matty Pattison that gave City their first victory over Ipswich for more than three years.
Goalkeeper Marshall denied Walters when he was clean through five minutes into the second half on the way to keeping his first clean sheet in 13 Championship games.
Lita said: “It all started from Marshy's save. That was just as important as scoring a goal.
“It was a big save. Marshy has made those kind of saves all season - we've deserved a clean sheet and three points today.
“The first goal was important and we managed to get the first one and it was a great finish. Crofty played really well and deserved it.
“The atmosphere was electric. I thought both sets of fans were good today and it was really great that we came out on top.”
Lita also provided one of the talking points of the derby with a piece of quick thinking that helped City complete their victory when Pattison made it 2-0 from David Bell's free-kick - with Town down to 10 men.
Lita drew referee Lee Probert's attention to the fact that defender Gareth McAuley was bleeding from a cut, and the Ipswich skipper was forced to leave the field for attention.
City boss Glenn Roeder applauded Lita's actions.
He said: “I've been on at my players for so, so long. We are the most honest group of players I've ever worked with - ridiculously honest. We need to have one or two tricks up our sleeve.
“I'm not saying that was a trick. Little things like that make a difference - and all the top players have that in their locker.
“We're too nice, we're too naïve, but slowly but surely the penny will drop.”
Town boss Jim Magilton had no complains about Lita's intervention - and instead blamed his players for not dealing with the free-kick that led to the goal.
Said Magilton: “It's a ridiculous law, whoever made that needs shooting. Why they have to go off the field is anyone's guess. But the lad was cut and that's the rule.
“But we've missed Gareth through injury in recent weeks and had people come in who have headed and kicked it away so you can't legislate for that.
“Someone should have been brave enough to put their head on it. Leroy Lita was bright to spot it and point it out. I've no complaints about that.
“I just wish we had been half as bright.”