One step at a time for Worthy
CHRIS WISE Nigel Worthington was refusing to look too far ahead as he prepared for tomorrow's testing trip to Elland Road. The Canaries go into the game with their hopes of reaching the promotion play-offs still just about alive thanks to a dramatic, last-gasp victory over Stoke last weekend.
Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington was refusing to look too far ahead as he prepared for tomorrow's testing trip to Elland Road.
The Canaries go into the game with their hopes of reaching the promotion play-offs still just about alive thanks to a dramatic, last-gasp victory over Stoke last weekend.
With sixth-placed Preston having been held to a goalless draw at Plymouth on Tuesday night, City are now seven points off the pace having played two more games - so all is not lost yet, even though the odds are heavily stacked against Worthington and his players.
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The City boss has been around long enough to know that anything is possible in football - but for the time being he is looking no further ahead that the fixture against Leeds, which his side really need to win to keep a modicum of pressure on the teams just above them.
“You know your long-term goal - that's always there - but the most important thing at the moment are the short-term goals,” he said. “It's about taking one game at a time, getting through each one of them, and then going on from there.
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“Every game is a test for us now. I want us to go there and perform, it's as simple and straightforward as that.
“We have had some very good results away from home this year - and we need to prove we can do that on an ongoing basis. We won at Sheffield United - but Bramall Lane and Elland Road are two different places and we have got to go out there and prove ourselves again.
“It has been a roller-coaster ride for much of the season and it would be nice to change that over the next nine games. What we will be looking for now is a string of good results.”
Worthington clearly wants no repeat of City's previous away performance at Selhurst Park, when the below-par visitors were simply swept aside by a Crystal Palace outfit who were better in all departments on the day and also showed a far greater stomach for the fight.
By all accounts the Norwich players have been buzzing since last Saturday's morale-boosting home success - and if they don't deliver the goods at Elland Road then there will some explaining to do, that's for sure.
“We have had a good week on the training ground - the players have worked hard again and worked well. Now it's game on again,” said the City boss.
“What we have found out this season is that it is not all about pretty football. It's just a case of battling, competing and winning games. You saw an example of that last Saturday when we beat Stoke - and it's happened the other way around plenty of times too. There have been plenty of games when there has not been much in it but we have ended up on the losing side.
“This league is about competing - from minute one to minute 90. If you earn the right to play between that then so be it.”
Worthington was happier talking about tomorrow's game than the lengthy statement issued by Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones in response to the recent fans' protests at Carrow Road and at St Andrews Hall.
Asked about the renewed statement of support from the club's joint majority shareholders, the City manager said simply: “I'm fine with that.”
When asked if he appreciated the couple's intervention in the great debate over his future he added: “They have been first class. The board and myself, we know where we are at - and that's the most important thing.”