Russell looking for big response

Chris Lakey Darel Russell says City must come up with a big response when they attempt to arrest a run of two defeats in the comfort of Carrow Road this afternoon.

Chris Lakey

Darel Russell says City must come up with a big response when they attempt to arrest a run of two defeats in the comfort of Carrow Road this afternoon.

The Canaries face Preston on the back of a rotten week away from Norfolk, when they lost at Derby and then Burnley to leave themselves just a point off the relegation zone and in danger of dropping into the bottom three this weekend.

“It has got to be a big response,” he said. “We are at home in front of our own crowd. We have got a job that we need to do, which is go out and win - and everyone will realise that. That is the main aim. There is nothing more to say about it. We need to go out and win and I think all the boys are focused this week on doing it.”

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Carrow Road will once again host a crowd of around 24,000 fans desperate to see them win - but Russell says the team can use the pressure to their advantage.

“It puts a lot of pressure on, but that's our job, we have got to handle that pressure and if we don't want to have that pressure on us for home games we need to better away form home,” he said. “We need to try and improve that and rectify that situation.

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“I enjoy it, there is no problem for me. I am sure there are some people who may feel that there might be a little bit more pressure, but you have to utilise that energy and use it to a positive effect. That is the main aim - sometimes that little bit of extra pressure pushes you that little bit harder to do that little bit more.

“Sometimes it can cause people a little bit of a problem, but everyone needs to understand that and use it in a positive manner and use it to our advantage.”

Getting off to a good start is imperative: City have scored first on only three occasions this season, but each time they have gone on to win.

“I think we have started the majority of our games well and it may be that period 10 minutes into a game when we may not get what we deserve and we start to become a little bit nervous or disjointed and then something goes against us and that causes us a problem,” said Russell. “Our aim every week has been to have a fantastic start to a game - make sure it's strong, make sure it's positive and hopefully we can do that again on Saturday.

“If we can do that we can get the crowd behind us - they have been behind us anyway, but we'd like to get them up and out of their seats really cheering for us like we did against Wolves and that makes the game more exciting and it puts a downer on the other team as well, when you have got that crowd cheering and lifted.”

If the early goal fails to materialise, then City might have to rely on the sort of late, late goals which earned wins over Sheffield United and Doncaster - and which Russell helped himself to when City beat Preston 1-0 at Carrow Road in February.

“There is probably no better way of winning a game than in that last minute because it can be demoralising for the other team and so late in the game it doesn't give many teams a chance to get back in the game and I think it is that bit more special when you score that goal so late on because there are a lot of emotions and perhaps impatience from everyone because everyone is trying to get the result,” said Russell. “When it happens right at the death it's a fantastic feeling - but we'd like to get things done a little earlier.”

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