Norwich City’s old guard help bring Nelson Oliveira back into line
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Steven Naismith revealed Norwich City’s players had done their bit to bring Nelson Oliveira back into the fold, after his Fulham stand-off with Daniel Farke.
City’s head coach yesterday declared an end to the fallout that left Oliveira banished from the club’s midweek League Cup squad, following his public act of defiance after his Craven Cottage equaliser.
Oliveira is back in the set-up for Sunday’s Championship home opener against Sunderland, after apologising to his team mates and the coaching staff. Naismith himself has forged a reputation as an abrasive presence on the pitch and the midfielder understands his team mate’s frustration.
“The manager said it. You want that fire in the belly, particularly as a forward, and that disappointment when you are not playing but when you take a step back you realise it is about the group and Nelson knows it probably wasn’t right,” he said. “There were other ways he could show his frustration, putting the ball in the back of the net being the main one, so it is a lesson learned for Nelson. As a group we move forward. Some of the older boys had a chat with him and asked him for his point of view and you do have sympathy but it is about the whole group.
“The manager hit the nail on the head when he said no-one was talking about Wes Hoolahan’s pass for the goal or even Nelson’s finish. It was about the aftermath. It was an individual who showed his frustrations. If he had not done that celebration then he can walk into the dressing room afterwards with almost a swagger because he is the one who has won us the point with his composed finish.
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“That shows how important he is going to be for us. A lot of people might think Nelson is older and more mature than he actually is. He still has some learning to do, and that is a prime example, but Nelson is a great character to have around this squad.”
Farke may have forgiven Oliveira’s outburst but had a stark warning for all concerned.
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“The club is bigger than one single person. I deeply believe this,” he said. “The club does not have to fall on its knees and kiss the feet of a player or a coach or head coach. Whatever. It is the other way around. Each and every player, member of staff, head coach has to be thankful to be able to be allowed to work for this club.”