Russell desperate to make amends
Michael Bailey Midfielder Darel Russell wants to repay the debt he owes his Norwich City team-mates, starting with three points in the Canaries' crunch Coca-Cola Championship fixtures against Colchester United on Saturday.
Midfielder Darel Russell wants to repay the debt he owes his Norwich City team-mates, starting with three points in the Canaries' crunch Coca-Cola Championship fixtures against Colchester United on Saturday.
The 27-year-old has missed five of the last six matches for the Canaries through suspension, after being sent off in his last two league games - a straight red card and three match ban in City's 4-0 defeat at Leicester City, plus a two match suspension after collecting two bookings in his comeback game at Coventry.
And having watched on anxiously as Glenn Roeder's side slip closer to the Championship's relegation zone, Russell wants to follow up his apologies with points, with Saturday's game at Carrow Road foremost in his mind.
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“It's been difficult; to me, it's been more than the last couple of games, it's been almost a month,” said the midfielder. “It feels like a very long time and I'm just eager to get back into it.
“Obviously it's just been disappointing with how the results have been going, because I want things to be going well. But you kind of feel responsibility when you've been playing in the team and you're not been involved because you got yourself sent off and suspended.
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“You feel like you've let the team down. I've apologised to the boys and I've apologised to the manager about that and hopefully I can replay them when I do return.
“It is disappointing because the boys feel like they are performing, they're training well, they're doing well but we are missing that little something at this minute in time and hopefully something just needs to click or go right, and we'll be firing again on all cylinders.
“But whenever I get my chance to get back in there, I'll hopefully be able to try and payback some of the debt I may owe.”
Colchester United, currently bottom of the Championship table, arguably represent the Canaries' best chance of taking three points from their remaining eight fixtures. But for Russell, Saturday's game is no bigger than the other seven.
“I think a lot of people are hyping it up to be huge, but it's not just Saturday's game but every game we've got from now until the end of the season,” added Russell.
“We have to treat them all like I think we were doing in the last few weeks - as cup finals almost - because our aims back then were to gain a play-off position, which obviously isn't possible, and now we want to keep away from the relegation situation.
“So they were all big games and they will all still be big games. I don't think Saturday is any huger than what we considered it to be a few weeks back.
One thing in the Canaries favour come three o'clock on Saturday will be 25,000 fans desperate to see their team move away from the Championship's bottom three clubs and Russell believes players can only ask for the same support they have received all season.
“They just have to do what they've been doing all season. I can't really say to them to sing up or support any more than they've been doing, because they have been fantastic so far this season,” said Russell, who has scored four goals in 37 appearances this term.
“It's difficult to give them a message other than do exactly what they've been doing because it has been great. It has been helping the team and if they can find some extra - I don't know if they've any more - but if they can find some extra to give then it would be greatly appreciated on the pitch and I'm sure the boys will respond accordingly.”