Rusty rues lack of goals
CHRIS LAKEY Darel Russell walked away with the sponsor's man of the match champagne on Saturday - but was annoyed that he hadn't been able to make it a more comfortable afternoon for the Canaries.
Darel Russell walked away with the sponsor's man of the match champagne on Saturday - but was annoyed that he hadn't been able to make it a more comfortable afternoon for the Canaries.
City had to wait until the 75th minute before David Strihavka struck to earn the points - but it was midfielder Russell who had been as busy as anyone in front of goal.
In the second minute he saw a shot from the edge of the box hit team-mate Jamie Cureton, half an hour later it was Palace defender Leon Cort who got in the way of a similar strike, while the crossbar prevented him celebrating his first league goal of the season just before half-time and a save by Julian Speroni denied him midway through the second period.
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“I wasn't frustrated, more annoyed, that I didn't have it go on the underside of the crossbar, but I am hoping my league goal will come sooner rather than later,” said Russell, who bagged City's final goal in the 5-2 Carling Cup win over Barnet last month.
“It's about time - I want one in five to seven games, so it is about due now so fingers crossed I will get it soon. If I keep getting the chances I am one closer to scoring that next goal.”
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Victory has moved City into mid-table, but Russell believes their position should be a lot more comfortable.
“It's massive, I think it was without a doubt needed,” he said. “We didn't look too healthy in the league - I know there are not too many points between top and bottom, but we needed to make get the season going and make sure home is a fortress and it is a massive three points for us against a good side.
“We are learning very slowly, we have had two opportunities - at Hull we should have picked up a draw and it cost us, and again our last game as well, we lost the game against Cardiff and that is four points, four points that would have had us joint top of the league. So we need to mature from that point of view.”
Had City - or Russell - found the net earlier, perhaps it would have been a different story, although the former Stoke man says City always felt comfortable.
“It may have looked like a nervous game, but speaking to the boys everyone felt fairly comfortable in the game,” he said. “I felt we had enough chances to get that goal and if we had got that goal earlier I think it would have been a completely different game from our point, because we had some great attacks in the first half and really moved the ball quickly from back to front.
“It perhaps was a bit nervous for people looking on, but we felt comfortable in the game that they were never really going to threaten us too much. It took a little bit too long from my point of view to get that goal and get ourselves in the leads.”
But three points are safely in the bag - handy considering the trip to Charlton tomorrow is followed by a visit to Wolves at the weekend as the season reaches its first busy stage.
“We have a lot of difficult games and a lot of travelling over the next few weeks and it is going to be difficult to try and get yourself recovered for each game,” said Russell. “It is going to be difficult, especially with the away games, but we have to keep working at it and making sure we have the lads that are in reserve today to come in to help the legs out when needs be. Hopefully we will be okay.”