Roeder insists he's up for relegation dogfight

David Cuffley City boss Glenn Roeder vowed to battle on as his team slipped further into trouble in the Championship, insisting: 'No one loves a fight more than me.' Only a better goal difference than Southampton separates the Canaries from the relegation places after they were beaten 1-0 at Sheffield United on Saturday.

David Cuffley

City boss Glenn Roeder vowed to battle on as his team slipped further into trouble in the Championship, insisting: "No one loves a fight more than me."

Only a better goal difference than Southampton separates the Canaries from the relegation places after they were beaten 1-0 at Sheffield United on Saturday.

But after their ninth defeat in 10 away league games, Roeder sounded a defiant rallying call.


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"Like the players showed today, they will keep fighting," he said. "No one loves a fight more than me and I demand that from my players.

"I think in the second half last week against Charlton in the FA Cup we came back and we got the replay that we deserved and they have shown today they are up for a fight - against a team that is a good team, full of Premiership players, a team that I think will be promoted come the end of the season.

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"We've matched them all the way and at times we were the better team.

"It's a long journey home and it's very disappointing to have taken part in a game like that and not put at least a point on the scoreboard. But that's life. No one is to feel sorry for themselves, no one is to blame anyone.

"It's all about staying a tight-knit unit and having the fight, looking forward to the fight and enjoying the fight in the coming weeks and months until we pull ourselves clear of this situation that we have got ourselves into.

"As I said, if you look at the effort the players put in there, no one can deny they are giving everything, for themselves and for the club and the supporters."

Roeder felt City's efforts at Bramall Lane were worth some reward.

He said: "It's a disappointed dressing room down there. I thought we matched Sheffield United all the way, especially on the physical side of the game. If you're going to get a result here, you have to stand up to them and I thought we did that very well. Unfortunately it never broke our way a few times when we hit the woodwork."

But he criticised the defending for Darius Henderson's winning goal.

"The goal was disappointing," said Roeder. "We've not shown enough urgency to close Webber down, we were too slow getting out there, and it was too easy for Webber to deliver a dangerous ball into the box and unfortunately it's the single goal that's cost us the game.

"Marshy had to pull off his normal one world-class save but, come on, we've come to Bramall Lane, we're going to concede chances - we didn't concede too many chances. Overall he's had a relatively quiet afternoon."

The City boss said he was still confident his team would climb the table.

He said: "I think we have some real quality in the side. I think the position in the table isn't the position of a team with the amount of quality that we have when we play well - but when we play well we've got to turn a defeat or a draw into a victory. It's so important that you get wins."

United manager Kevin Blackwell said his side made hard work of a 1-0 win.

Blackwell said: "I think if we'd have taken our chances, we'd have made it slightly easier but we didn't and Norwich have the ability to come back so it was important we kept our concentration at the end.

"The clean sheet is a big one."

Goalscorer Henderson earned top marks from his manager, who revealed that the player had his own family worries on his shoulders as well as taking on a lead role in the team.

"Darius gave a terrific performance, especially considering his concern for his baby son who was rushed into hospital on Friday with a bronchial infection," Blackwell said. "A goal does wonders for any striker's confidence and it was a terrific finish at the back post.

"There is nothing better than seeing a big, powerful Blades striker powering home a header in that way. I am pleased for him because he has had a lot on his mind."

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