Roeder: Season now starting for us
Chris Lakey Glenn Roeder admits he's finding it harder to keep Norwich City's resurgence in the background as the season enters its final third.
Glenn Roeder admits he's finding it harder to keep Norwich City's resurgence in the background as the season enters its final third.
While Crystal Palace's surge into play-off contention, and QPR's impressive climb since a take-over, have grabbed the headlines, the Canaries have quietly gone about their business, picking up valuable points on a 12-match unbeaten run which has taken them to 13th in the table.
But with City just four points off the play-off places, it's becoming more and more difficult to conceal the accomplishments of the last three and a half months.
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“Eight points at the end of October to 41 at the end of February, and thankfully - and I mean this - it has hardly attracted any attention, because it has been a fantastic run. But this season is only just starting now for us.
“It's been just quietly, and no one expecting too much, but, of course, expectation levels have increased over the last few weeks and we are just starting to get back to where Norwich City, when they are in the Championship, should be, and I don't mean middle of the table, I mean striking distance of the play-offs.”
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The change of fortunes has been emphasised on a daily basis within the walls of the Colney training ground where Roeder keeps his players' feet on the ground, reminding them of where they have come from.
“I just keep reminding them every day, just keep refocusing their minds that it has taken an awful lot of hard work to get to where they have got to today and really the season is only just starting for us now, it is really,” he said. “Hopefully the nightmare that was happening at Carrow Road at the end of October is starting now to slide away and let other people's thoughts turn to other things that might happen this year. I don't think people really appreciate what has happened and how difficult it has been.”
City's recent form has been punctuated by late goals, such as Ched Evans' superb winner at Cardiff on Saturday - proof, says Roeder, of the team's character and attitude.
“It's a belief and a desire to want to win football matches,” he said. “Pretty quickly from when I first came, even in the Ipswich game you would never have believed the team only had eight points. It wasn't just one win to get out of the bottom three, we knew it was going to be several wins to climb out of the bottom three.
“We have had that first good run and we are on a good second run and we want to keep it going now.
“You want you to be out of the bottom three and as far away from it as possible - we're 10 points away from it now, it is an amazing achievement but no one is resting on their laurels. We will only assess the season after the final whistle at Sheffield Wednesday - and who knows, there might be some more games to play.”