‘It cost me a lot of my reputation’ - Russell on playing under Glenn Roeder
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Darel Russell enjoyed two spells with Norwich City spanning over 10 years – but he has one season he’d wish to forget.
Glenn Roeder is a name that provokes shudders from Canaries supporters, his reign remembered for kick-starting the downward trajectory that followed.
Russell, an uncompromising midfielder, found himself deployed as a striker – a position that he doesn’t conventionally operate in.
The ex-City star admits he felt his reputation was damaged during that particular period, and confessed Roeder isn’t a manager he remembers with a great deal of fondness.
“(He was) a very interesting character and a very different guy. He’s definitely up there with the ones who are out their box and this is where you can see great things about managers and the things you wouldn’t do. From my perspective, there is a lot of things about him and what he taught me, that I simply wouldn’t do,” Russell said.
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“Tough times. We talk about square pegs in round holes, he ended up playing me up front for a season and that cost me a lot of my reputation. People look at you and think you’re not the same player. You’re half the player, you’re an idiot, even within your own fans.”
Despite not favouring Russell in his natural central midfield position, Roeder blocked a potential top-flight move for the midfielder.
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“Sticking me in a position where I’m doing a job, it’s not a great job – I can get by but it’s not what should be done in that role,” he said. “I’ve never played it in my career but if you want to get the best out of me, you don’t play me there.
“You play me where I should be played, very simple. Even within your own fans people are looking at you like ‘what the hell?’ and before we got to that season, I had the opportunity to go to Burnley in the Premier League and he wouldn’t let me go.
“It was crazy. Like, he didn’t want to play me but he didn’t want to let me go there because it would look bad on his reputation at the time.”
Roeder was sacked and replaced by Bryan Gunn, a man Russell backed to be given the City job following the former Newcastle United boss’ departure.
Read more from Russell about his time at Norwich City inside