Roeder points to brighter times ahead

Chris Lakey Glenn Roeder has promised a better future for Norwich City's long-suffering supporters.As one of the worst years in recent memories approaches its finale, the City boss insists that the Canaries will pull away from the relegation zone, which has become something of a magnet for most of 2008 to escape the clutches of the relegation zone.

Chris Lakey

Glenn Roeder has promised a better future for Norwich City's long-suffering supporters.

As one of the worst years in recent memories approaches its finale, the City boss insists that the Canaries will pull away from the relegation zone, which has become something of a magnet for most of 2008 to escape the clutches of the relegation zone.

“We feel very confident that we will, over the course of the second half of the season, pull ourselves away from that,” said Roeder after yesterday's 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace.


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“It would have been nice to have got a point or three today which would have been fully deserved.”

“It is frustrating, not just for me, for everyone involved at Norwich - it's frustrating for the players, it's frustrating for our supporters, because we know we are good enough to have more than just back-to-back wins, to go on a run of wins.

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“There is no doubt about it. There isn't any team in this division that we fear, as we proved when we beat Wolves 5-2 - but we have not had enough of those.”

City ended last year in 20th position and go into tomorrow's game against Forest in exactly the same spot - but with as golden opportunity to do the double of a side who sacked manager Colin Calderwood last night after a 4-2 home thumping by Doncaster Rovers.

Even victory might move City up just a couple of places, but Roeder believes he's not the only manager looking over his shoulder.

“I think there are a dozen clubs who should be aware of that situation in the bottom half of the table,” he said.

It would have been a lot easier had City got what Roeder believed they deserved from a drab encounter at Selhurst Park yesterday.

“You couldn't knock the boys today for the effort they put in and the quality of their play at times,” he said. “At least we try to play what I call football.

“Unless you're a Palace supporter, they wouldn't agree, but the amount of possession we had, it was ridiculous that Palace have beaten us for the second time in reasonably quick succession.”

City were undone by two first-half free-kicks, and although Gary Doherty equalised with his first of the season, Leroy Lita missed a sitter before the break which could have altered the complexion of the game, leaving Danny Butterfield to wrap it up late on from 20 yards.

“The goals we gave away, especially the first two, just make it that much more difficult to get something out of the game,” said Roeder.

“Had Leroy stuck the chance away from inside the six-yard box to make it 2-2 just before half-time it would have made it much more interesting, obviously, but I thought we were on top for most of the second half, and the third goal gives it a completely false scoreline.”

Roeder was without Lee Croft yesterday, the winger struggling with a bug that meant he wasn't fit to travel. He could be back tomorrow, while striker Antoine Sibierski, who has missed the last five games with a foot injury, should be available, but Roeder is struggling to make up the numbers.

“Apart from Crofty the senior squad was here today, which amounts to 15 players I suppose,” he said. “But that's okay. As long as they all stay fit and healthy there is enough quality in that 15, 16 players to win matches.”

Lita plays the last game of his loan spell today before returning to Reading, Roeder dangled another carrot above the speculation pot when he hinted that the striker could be back.

“Officially he's got one more game and we will see what happens thereafter, that's all I am prepared to say,” said Roeder.

When asked if Lita had told him what he wanted to do, Roeder said: “Absolutely, he has told me for the past month. That's between me and Leroy.

“I am absolutely certain what Leroy wants to do if possible, if it's achievable. I think anyone would like to keep him.”

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