Nelson expects an open contest
Defender Michael Nelson believes relegation-threatened Tranmere must go on the offensive tonight - and that will suit the Canaries. “They need to go out and win the game and try and get three points,” he said.
Defender Michael Nelson believes relegation-threatened Tranmere must go on the offensive tonight - and that will suit the Canaries. “They need to go out and win the game and try and get three points,” he said. “A lot of times when we played teams down the bottom earlier in the season they've tucked a lot of men behind the ball and tried to get a point out of it, but this time of the season, teams who are in there need to go all out for the three points, and I hope that will suit us.”
The bad news for Tranmere is that second-placed Leeds also needed the points, for a very different reason, but they left Carrow Road empty-handed last weekend.
A goal a minute from time wrapped up a vital City win, which extended the lead to 11 points - and left City to enjoy their six-day break before the busy weekend.
“Everyone is happy with the result, happy with the way it came as well - into the last minute and we managed to nick it, so it was a good result and everyone is quite happy going into the weekend,” said Nelson.
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“Coming up against a team that sees the stats of how many goals we have scored late on they know they have got to be on their game right up to the final whistle. We have been lucky enough to pinch a few goals late on.
“It's just the belief that we are going to win the game, no matter how late it goes. Fitness has got a lot to do with it. Since the gaffer came in we have worked very hard on our fitness and if you look at the stats with the late goals I think it has paid off.”
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Nelson was happy to keep a clean sheet, along with fellow central defender Gary Doherty, against Jermaine Beckford and, for just 11 minutes, Luciano Becchio.
“It's not just down to me and Gary,” he said. “Beckford is the main threat for Leeds, he's the one who gets all the hype, but if the lads in front don't do their jobs then it makes it a lot harder for us, so when they are on the ball it makes it easier for us.
“We seemed to have formed a good partnership. We have got a few clean sheets in recent weeks so hopefully it can continue. It has chopped and changed throughout the season with injuries and suspensions. Hopefully that's the end of it now regarding the injury front at least and hopefully it will stay the same and the results will keep coming as well.”
Becchio's minor part in the game was caused by Nelson's boot, which caught him firmly in the face and left the Argentinian out cold before he hit the deck. Paramedics were quickly on the scene and Becchio left the field on a stretcher, but after a visit to hospital travelled home with the rest of the team, much to Nelson's relief.
“When he was on the floor I wasn't sure,” he said. “I could see he was out and when the medical team came on I was a bit concerned, but I went to try and check on him after the game. Our physio went to check and he'd already gone to hospital and then on Monday I tried to check again and our physio checked and said he was fine.
“He got me off balance, I have tried to win the ball and I just managed to catch him and unfortunately it happened the way it did.”