Nigel: I never felt job was on the line

DAVID CUFFLEY Nigel Worthington has again stressed his determination for Norwich City to atone for the disappointment of last season - and insisted he never felt his job was on the line.


Nigel Worthington has again stressed his determination for Norwich City to atone for the disappointment of last season - and insisted he never felt his job was on the line.

After Saturday's 3-1 friendly victory at Cambridge United, Worthington was asked whether he ever feared he would not be in charge at the start of 2006-07.

But he insisted: “No, because I've got a close relationship with the board of directors and it's about working together. This football club has had the experience of changing the manager pretty much every season before myself coming in and experience tells you that's no way forward.

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“Most of the time I've been here the club's made huge strides. We've had a wonderful time. We've had a hiccup last year and we'll hopefully try to put that right and move forward again this year.”

He added: “There's no more pressure on us this season than there was in the last 5½ that I've been in charge.

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“The one thing that we will guarantee - as a manager, coaching staff, players, directors - is that we will give our best for the football club and hopefully that will be good enough.

“Last year we had a disappointing season. We'd like to try and put that right and we'll be doing our utmost to try to do that.

“The Championship is always a very tough league and this year it's more open than ever. There are going to be a lot of teams vying for those top two spots and I'm hoping Norwich will be one of them.”

As City prepare to head for Scotland and games against Livingston tomorrow night and Falkirk on Saturday, Worthington said he was happy for the heatwave to continue.

He said: “I've had many pre-seasons in these conditions. They are not pleasant to play in but it's great for the fitness and I'm absolutely delighted it's been red-hot today because it could be like this at Elland Road on the fifth of August and this will stand the players in good stead.

“I'm very pleased, apart from the result, with the players' commitment and the way they're trying to do things they were asked in training. Things that we worked on in training are starting to show through in the games.

“No matter who you're playing, you've still got to stick the ball in the back of net. To have different people score is something we didn't have enough of last year. What we need now is midfielders and defenders to join in with that and try to add to the tally.”

Cambridge boss Rob Newman said he too hoped his former club could regain their top-flight status, but warned them against defensive lapses.

He said: “I wish with all my heart they get back into the Premiership. I've seen enough here to say they're good enough to get back into the Premiership, but it's just going to be a case of turning it on on the day.

“I feel as though we've given them a good game. In the first half we worked very hard. In the second half we didn't work as hard and we got punished. I thought we gave them the goals rather than them earning it.

“They are going to be up against stronger opposition than us. There were times when we created chances and probably against a better team they might kill them off, but I've certainly seen enough here today with Norwich City to know that they can do well in the Championship and get back where they belong in the Premiership.”

Newman praised City's “fantastic” fans for supporting the match and boosting United's ailing finances.

He said: “There were 800 people here from Norwich and I'd like to thank them for coming down and supporting the game.”

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