Roeder hopes Blues will bring out best in City
Glenn Roeder is hoping the best the Championship has to offer will bring out the best in his Norwich City side this afternoon. Birmingham visit Carrow Road on the back of three league wins out of three while City have struggled to turn chances into goals, leaving them winless and in danger of going into the international break in the bottom three of the embryonic league table.
Glenn Roeder is hoping the best the Championship has to offer will bring out the best in his Norwich City side this afternoon.
Birmingham visit Carrow Road on the back of three league wins out of three while City have struggled to turn chances into goals, leaving them winless and in danger of going into the international break in the bottom three of the embryonic league table.
But while Alex McLeish's side are favourites to go straight back to the Premier League, Roeder believes the challenge can bring out the best in his squad.
“Often when you play teams like that it brings the best out in you and that is what we have got to believe,” said the City boss.
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“That playing Birmingham tomorrow will bring the best out in us. There hasn't been a game where we have not created chances and hopefully when we create chances on Saturday we will hit the back of the net, but it has to be a shared responsibility and not just all the pressure on the strikers.”
While Roeder battles to bring in a new striker to complement his squad, McLeish has them to spare.
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“They have got the strongest squad, easily,” said Roeder. “They have doubled up in every position with quality. In fact, in the striking positions they have got an embarrassment of talent, a glut.
“I think what is key for them is they haven't had to move on too many of their Premier League players.
“The fact that players like (James) McFadden have stayed is a tribute to the manager. I thought McFadden would have been an obvious one to step back up into the Premiership because he has proved himself to be such a good Premiership player.
“Physically they are big and strong and they are hot favourites to win automatic promotion. Their expectation of the season is not let's hope we get in the play-offs, theirs is top two and probably top one.”
Kevin Phillips, 35, has scored in each of Birmingham's league matches - and Roeder, who signed him for Watford in 1994 for £10,000 - expects him to go on as long as former Canaries favourite Dion Dublin.
“I never had any doubt at all about Kevin Phillips,” he said. “I know him too well, I know the animal, the beast. If he wants to play as long as Dion did, until he's 39, he will do it, because he keeps himself right; he is a clean liver, he is a good lad - I just hope he has an average game tomorrow.
“He was very dangerous for West Brom year when he came here. I will never spend 10 grand better than that, pound for pound.”
Roeder may still be missing the final piece of his attacking jigsaw, but he has no new injuries worries.
The City manager is without long-term absentees David Bell and Gary Doherty, but otherwise can choose from a full squad as City look for their first win of the new season.
(.) Roeder has confirmed that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will not be returning to City's training centre, having used the facility to top up his fitness levels over the past fortnight.
“He only ever came here for training,” he said. “If I was to sign Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink he wouldn't be here on trial, you wouldn't embarrass the man like that. Everyone knows what he has done in his career.
“Jimmy felt the six days training he has had here has benefited him greatly. I think he has other plans.”