Look, they’re behind us
DAVID CUFFLEY Goalkeeper Paul Gallacher has admitted Norwich City are “looking over their shoulders” after another Championship defeat - but is backing them to haul themselves well clear of the bottom six.
Goalkeeper Paul Gallacher has admitted Norwich City are “looking over their shoulders” after another Championship defeat - but is backing them to haul themselves well clear of the bottom six.
Tuesday's 2-1 defeat at Preston, the Canaries' seventh reverse in 11 league games, left them in 18th place in the table, only five points clear of the relegation places, albeit with at least two games in hand on all the sides beneath them.
Gallacher, back in the starting line-up at Deepdale for the first time in more than five weeks, with on-loan David Marshall sidelined by an ankle injury, knows Saturday's home match against Coventry City simply has to signal a reversal of fortune.
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While manager Peter Grant insists he is not looking at the league table, the Scotland international 'keeper has studied it - and can't quite believe what he sees.
He said: “I look at the table and I feel we're in a false position. But we're actually looking over our shoulders at this moment.
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“We need the results - that is plain and simple. We have to start winning games and with a couple of wins we'll start moving up, which is where I feel we belong, and so do the rest of the players.”
Coventry, four points clear of Norwich but having played three games more, won their first match under new boss Iain Dowie when they beat Southampton 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena on Tuesday, and will no doubt have gained in confidence ahead of their trip to Carrow Road.
“Yes, a new manager comes in and lifts the place,” said Gallacher. “But we're at home. It's a tougher game for them to come and play us and we're looking forward to it.
“We've got to start getting victories and hopefully it can start on Saturday.”
Gallacher's early introduction in place of the injured Marshall in Saturday's FA Cup tie at Chelsea was his first taste of senior action since the 3-1 defeat at home to Plymouth in January.
He was happy with his display at Chelsea, but disappointed to concede two goals at Preston.
He said: “For me on Saturday, I just didn't have any time to think about it. You're playing the champions at Stamford Bridge and anything you get is a bonus.
“At Preston, I felt confident about the game, I felt OK. The first goal I was not too happy about - I think I should have saved that and I'll go home and watch the DVD and scrutinize that.
“I'm disappointed with two goals, having come back in for a game we felt we could maybe win.”
Gallacher felt City showed spirit at Deepdale after further injury problems left them with an unfamiliar line-up.
“We picked up another couple of injuries with pulled muscles. You can't do anything about that but it gives other boys a chance to come in and impress,” he said.
“We lost some big players - it's unfortunate. It is hard to take but we worked hard, battled away and deserved something.”
Coventry will be without captain Robert Page for Saturday's game after he picked up his 10th booking of the season in Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Leicester. He is banned for two games, the first of them against Norwich.
Ex-Canary striker Leon McKenzie will not play, either. McKenzie is ineligible for the match under the terms of his £600,000-plus move from Carrow Road last August.
Striker Kevin Kyle also picked up his 10th booking in the midweek win over Southampton, but he is available for the Norwich trip because his suspension covers games against Hull and Colchester.