McNamee is ready for Norwich City call
Winger Anthony McNamee is hoping there is still time for him to have a big impact on Norwich City’s promotion challenge.
McNamee produced a lively half-hour display as a substitute for the Canaries in Tuesday’s 2-2 Championship draw at Watford, the club where he started his career.
But it was his first taste of senior action for 12 games, and he has not started a league match since the 1-1 draw at home to Leeds in November.
With five matches left of City’s season, the 27-year-old would dearly love to get a longer stint on the pitch, starting with tonight’s crucial game against play-off hopefuls Nottingham Forest at Carrow Road (7.45pm).
“I’m hoping for a start in any game but I just have to wait and see what the manager does,” said McNamee.
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“It is difficult but it’s a team game, only 11 players can play and we’ve got a big squad so everyone has to play their part when they can.
“You just have to take every minute as it comes and when you get your chance, take it.”
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McNamee has 37 senior appearances under his belt since joining the Canaries from Swindon last season, but just 13 of them have been starts, and only six of those this season.
He admitted watching from the bench – he has been an unused substitute 17 times this season - could be a frustrating experience.
“It can be but when you’re training every day and you’ve got a good team spirit it isn’t as bad as people think it might be,” he said.
The final three weeks of the season offer third-placed City the chance to complete back-to-back promotions and to make a bigger contribution to that success would “mean everything” to McNamee. He still believes automatic promotion must be the aim for Paul Lambert’s men, who will regain second place, at least overnight, if they win this evening.
“Every game from now is a big game because we want to go straight up – we don’t really want to go into the play-offs,” he said.
“As a football player you want to play every minute, every game, so I just have to do my part when I can. You might have to come on and change the game.”
McNamee had that opportunity on a difficult surface at Watford and he helped City battle back from 2-1 down to earn what could still be a very valuable point.
“I enjoyed going back there. I was a bit disappointed about the result. I thought we should have got the three points but it’s a point at the end of the day,” he said.
“I’ve been used to that pitch, it hasn’t really changed since I was there. I always wanted to play against them for a long time so I’m happy it happened. I haven’t really played for a long time so it was good just to get back on the pitch for a few minutes.
“But the Carrow Road pitch is perfect so I prefer playing there to Vicarage Road.”
City’s final five matches come in the space of 23 days, but it’s not a schedule that worries McNamee.
“I think we’ve got a big enough squad to handle it,” he said.