'No future in long ball game'

CHRIS LAKEY Glenn Roeder gave his players the freedom of the city of Norwich yesterday after the Canaries finally got back into the winning habit. The City manager jumped in the air as the final whistle blew after the 2-0 win over Coventry City - and then revealed just what it meant to his under-fire players in the dressing room afterwards.

CHRIS LAKEY

Glenn Roeder gave his players the freedom of the city of Norwich yesterday after the Canaries finally got back into the winning habit.

The City manager jumped in the air as the final whistle blew after the 2-0 win over Coventry City - and then revealed just what it meant to his under-fire players in the dressing room afterwards.

“The atmosphere nearly blew me back out of the door,” said Roeder. “It's the sort of atmosphere you want if you are a footballer, you want it every time you go out to play because it is a winning atmosphere. I didn't need to say too many words, it wasn't the right time. It was just the right time to let the boys enjoy a win and the atmosphere it has created by a win.


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“I have said no matter how much I have spoken to them lately in terms of making them believe they are good players who have just lost their way, it was only a matter of time before their confidence would come flooding back. No matter what I have said recently I said that a win would be the best team talk I could possibly give and that's how I am sure it has turned out.

“I think there were long periods where you would never have guessed we were bottom of the table.

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“There is no future in long ball football for me or this football club. Our supporters want winning football and they also want to be entertained and I think we have sent them home happy tonight and that pleases me greatly as well.

“I just think it is unbelievable the support that we get - it is bordering on amazing to be bottom of the Championship and have the amount of people come and watch us and stand by us and one of the greatest pleasures I will get tonight is knowing that we have sent over 24,000 Norwich City supporters away out of this ground to enjoy, for once, a Saturday night and a Sunday and I am sure they will in their own ways.”

Roeder also gave his players time off yesterday to savour the moment - knowing only too well what a run of poor form can mean on the domestic front.

“They feel it is an important day for their families as well, which we have spoken about this week,” he said.

“It is about time their families enjoyed a day after a game, their wives or girlfriends or children who have to go to school. I think of these things because I have been in the same situation before - children have to go to school and dad's not doing well and they have the micky taken out of them and on Monday their children will go to school and be proud about their dad winning a game again.

“That is why they are going to have a day off - we would normally have been in but I thought the benefit of them having a day with their families outweighed us coming in. They did their recovery after the game and they are going to have a day with their families and we will go back to work on Monday.”

Saturday's win was Roeder's first in four attempts since taking charge - and one he will cherish.

“It means everything to me because as manager of Norwich City it is my first win and I shall never forget that,” he said.

“I am no different from anyone else - I live for winning, we are in professional sport, I don't live for draws, I don't live for losing games. I live for winning like every other professional sportsman should do.”

Roeder's loan signings played a massive part on Saturday, Martin Taylor strong in defence, Mo Camara settling in well at left back and Matty Pattison creating both goals from left midfield.

“I was pleased with every one of them,” Roeder added. “I could talk through the whole team and tell you how well all of them played.

“Pattison did what I thought he would do and what he is capable of doing. The same as Mo Camara he cannot be fully match fit from playing reserve team football, they were probably about 80pc match fit, and I was delighted that both of them got through the 90 minutes. But I wasn't surprised the part he played in both goals - that's the quality he has in his left foot.”

Then there was Mark Fotheringham, back in the fray for the first time in three months and carrying on as he left off - playing well.

“He was first back into the dressing room after the game and he nearly had tears in his eyes with the emotion of winning a game of football for Norwich City, and that is the sort of people that we want,” said Roeder.

Roeder said the emphasis in training had been on Norwich, not their opponents.

“All we have done since that poor performance at Plymouth is concentrate on ourselves, trying to make the players more confident and have more belief in themselves,” he said.

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