Roeder's delight at away day

Norwich City players responded to harsh criticism of their away day performances by throwing manager Glenn Roeder's words “right back in my face”.

Norwich City players responded to harsh criticism of their away day performances by throwing manager Glenn Roeder's words “right back in my face”.

The City manager was furious when City followed up two home wins by capitulating at Derby and then Burnley - but was in a very different mood on Saturday evening as his team, which played the last 70 minutes with 10 men, held on for only their fifth win, and second away success, of the season.

“The players came firing back at me, which I'm happy to say they did,” said Roeder, whose biggest concern now is whether he needs to make another raid on the loan market ahead of tomorrow's deadline.

“I don't mind being proved wrong. I accused them after a couple of very average performances, to say the least - and I am probably being kind there - at Derby and Burnley. I accused them as a group, not individuals, that they lacked some courage on their travels away from home and we'd let the supporters down and they threw that right back in my face and I'm happy to accept that because I thought they showed that tonight - lots of courage and lots of bravery.”


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Roeder lost Gary Doherty to a red card and Elliott Omozusi, who switched to centre back in the reshuffle, had to go off just after the hour mark with a tight hamstring.

That leaves him with John Kennedy as his only dedicated central defender - and if Omozusi doesn't make it in time for Crystal Palace's visit tomorrow, left back Adam Drury will have to do a turn in the middle.

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The alternative is to try and bring in another loan player.

“That's something we will look at, and Monday will be a big day if we need to go and look for one to get us through at least until January because you know how busy December is,” he said.

It was Sammy Clingan who took over the captain's armband from Doherty and who filled in more than adequately at centre back for the last third of the game at the ground where he played until his summer move to Carrow Road.

“He deserves a special mention,” said Roeder. “It is not easy coming back to a club that you have left where you have done particularly well.

“He is a terrific Bosman signing - he certainly would cost a few quid now if someone tried to buy him - we don't want that to happen. You are not going to get a better free transfer than that this year.

“The beauty of Sammy, apart from being a great lad, is his versatility. He has played right back, he's dropped into centre back and is equally as effective as he has is in his right position as a central midfield player.

Bear in mind when I saw him on Wednesday night hobbling around playing for Northern Ireland with a bandage wrapped around his head that he's playing with three or four stitches in a head wound and he's had to drop back to centre back and get up and try and win headers - he's a very brave lad as well.

“I think he took one look at my face when I saw him on Friday morning after coming back from Northern Ireland and he would have been too scared to say, 'I'm not fit, boss', because he's been away three times with Northern Ireland and he's come back with some sort of injury

“I thought he was terrific, they all put a stint in.

“Lee Croft could not have run for 90 minutes last season like he does now. He has never been fitter in his life. He is now looking an athlete. In the last 15 minutes he put a shift in and what was good as well is he is a player who can carry the ball from one end to the other to relieve the pressure and get your back four up high again - very good.”

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