‘I’m ready to go’ – Vrancic to bolster City’s midfield options for clash with Watford
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Mario Vrancic is fit and raring to make his return to action for Norwich City, ahead of Friday night’s crunch clash with Watford.
The 30-year-old midfielder barely featured in pre-season and made just two brief appearances during the early stages of the Premier League season, before a calf injury thwarted his progress after 90 minutes after a shock League Cup loss at Crawley in late August.
The Bosnia & Herzegovina international - who scored 10 goals and assisted another nine during last season's Championship title triumph - returned to training midway through last month but missed Saturday's 2-0 loss at Brighton due to illness.
"I've had some calf problems which is quite annoying. I had a few setbacks because I tried to get back too early," Vrancic explained.
"Thank God, I've been without pain for a couple of weeks now so I'm just hoping it stays like this.
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"It's very frustrating. Probably the worst thing for me is watching games from the stands because you can't influence a game.
"It's very, very annoying but part of the game and part of our job. You sometimes need to suffer a bit and I've tried my best to encourage the guys from the outside.
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"I've been training for like three and a half weeks now with the team. I'm getting back in shape and I'm ready to go."
Vrancic signed a new contract in the summer, extending terms until 2021 after an impressive campaign which saw him score crucial goals for Daniel Farke's team, including the winning goals which sealed promotion against Blackburn and the title at Aston Villa.
He returns to the fold with City sitting 19th in the Premier League table and hosting rock-bottom Watford at Carrow Road, following five defeats in six matches.
"I can only appeal to the fans that they carry on their support for us. It gives us a massive boost," Vrancic added, speaking to City's official OTBC matchday programme.
"They can be the 12th man, we witnessed it last season when we were struggling. Games like the one against Nottingham Forest, we were 3-0 down and came back (to 3-3) with 15 minutes to go, it would be unlikely for us to do that away from home.
"I just really hope that the fans carry on but also it's down to us to deliver for them. I hope they continue to believe in the squad and the team."