Roeder's upbeat message

Chris Lakey Canaries boss Glenn Roeder says his players are desperate to take out their frustrations on struggling Colchester United at Carrow Road this afternoon.

Chris Lakey

Canaries boss Glenn Roeder says his players are desperate to take out their frustrations on struggling Colchester United at Carrow Road this afternoon.

It's a must-win game which, whatever the outcome, will have dramatic repercussions.

Win or lose, City will still be looking nervously over their shoulders at events around the country that could determine whether the season has once again become a relegation nightmare - or whether they can breathe again.

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So narrow are the margins that a win could push the Canaries to just below halfway in the Championship ladder - but defeat could see them well and truly in the relegation mix, rather than flirting on the edges.

For Colchester, it's much more simple - lose and they will almost certainly be condemned to League One football next season.

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Roeder insists the pressure is firmly on Colchester - and reckons his players are eager to put them out of their misery this afternoon.

“They know they played well in the last two games and they are just full of frustration that they haven't tucked away their chances - and the lads involved at the back who have made mistakes are very upset, but fully focused,” he said.

“They are eager to get out there tomorrow, they are eager to get in the starting XI. There are going to be a few disappointed people, but they will have to contain that disappointment and when they get put on they will go and take it out on Colchester.”

Colchester appear to be dead and buried, but Roeder dismissed the idea that the pressure was consequently off their shoulders.

“No - I would say the pressure is greater on Colchester,” he said. “It's greater pressure on Colchester because they are still alive and running.

“I saw them play the other night, they are fighting for their lives. They went down to 10 men, 2-0 down - you might have thought they might have given in but they didn't, they fought hard.”

Roeder says he expects his players to thrive - just as he does.

“Every single game there has been an amount of pressure, but I come from a background of the greater the challenge the greater the response,” he said.

“I think that is a very good way of putting things. Whatever you see in training you expect to see 20pc more in a match - certainly from people that have got mental toughness and strength that, come the day of the match, no matter how well they have trained you get another 15, 20pc out of them because you live on the edge.

“Some people can't bear to live on the edge, sailing close to the wind - I actually love it. Life would be boring without it. And that's how you want your players to be, living on the edge.”

Roeder has some big decisions to make today - whether to play Matty Pattison six days after the midfielder was charged with drink-driving; whether to include Darel Russell, back after his second suspension of the year; whether to start with new loan singing Maceo Rigters.

The players spent Wednesday together - but not at City's Colney training centre. Instead, Roeder sent them out ten-pin bowling.

“We kept them out of the training ground but we stayed together as a group and had some lunch after the activity we did Wednesday morning - which was knock a few skittles down - 10 at a time,” he said.

“Team spirit is fantastic anyway, it is not as if we are trying to make team spirit any better, but I wanted to keep us all together this week, I wanted to see who the best was at bowling and apparently it's Jamie Cureton - I just hope he gets as many strikes tomorrow.”

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