Total football is goal: Glenn
Michael Bailey Glenn Roeder has called on his entire side to carry Norwich City's goalscoring burden as they look to end their goalless start to the season at Carrow Road.
Glenn Roeder has called on his entire side to carry Norwich City's goalscoring burden as they look to end their goalless start to the season at Carrow Road.
The Canaries begin their home fixture programme of the fledgling Coca-Cola Championship season against Blackpool this afternoon (3pm) searching for their first points and goals, after City's promising 2-0 defeat at Coventry last weekend was followed up by a less than impressive exit to MK Dons in the Carling Cup on Tuesday.
A running theme for the first 180 minutes of football has been Norwich's ability to carve out glorious scoring opportunities - before somehow conspiring to miss them.
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And with Roeder's search for a dominant striker yet to bear fruit, the City manager has called on his entire outfield line-up take their fair share of responsibility in front of goal.
“Everyone in the team has to find their goal scoring vein this year,” said the City boss. “We spoke about it after the game on Tuesday and the central defenders were saying 'you can't just keep blaming the strikers - we need to score from set plays when we come up' and the defender that made that point is absolutely right.
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“Even if they get three or four each, that is eight goals extra around the team during the season and those eight goals will hopefully pick up points.
“They do need to get their head on the ball from deliveries, corners and wide free kicks. We cannot just rely on the strikers alone.”
The last league goal scored by a dedicated centre-back for the Canaries came from Martin Taylor during his loan spell from Birmingham City, coincidentally at Blackpool in November.
Now John Kennedy, City's latest loan centre-back recruit, is aiming to do the same during his temporary spell away from Celtic.
“It is not only the strikers, the whole team has to have a look at the goals; midfielders - you expect them to chip in with a few throughout the season - and your centre-backs coming up for set pieces,” said Kennedy.
“Obviously there are a few lads in the team, defender-wise, that can hopefully get a couple of goals. In all the leagues, you see centre-backs going up for set pieces and scoring. We are no different and we can't just expect the strikers to score all the goals.
“We need everyone to come in with a fair amount and it is no different for us, so hopefully we can get on the scoresheet as well.”
The big Scot is well aware how much an early lack of goals is playing on Canaries fans, but he admitted it is yet to really start playing on his team-mate's minds.
“We're thinking too much about it,” added Kennedy. “In the games, we are actually playing pretty well but we are just lacking that finishing touch so hopefully that will fall into place.
“Obviously we are at home so we'll have the banging support which is good. I think the fans are always great, so we need to return the favour and get results which make them happy.
“We are playing well enough but as people have said, we're not finishing our chances so we have to put that right and hopefully we can do that against Blackpool.”
Roeder will be close to having a full strength squad to chose from, with Kennedy and Dejan Stefanovic expected to return to the heart of City's defence after being in midweek.
Ryan Bertrand could also be in contention for a recall after resuming training this week, although the game may come too soon for him, leaving Roeder with a decision whether to throw fellow left-back Adam Drury immediately into Championship action following his first 90 minutes after a 10-month injury layoff.
David Bell and Gary Doherty remain long-term injury absentees, while midfielder Darel Russell is pushing for his first league start and Jamie Cureton will be hoping to return to City's attack after Omar Koroma and Arturo Lupoli were given striking duties at StadiumMK.
Wes Hoolahan is set to start against the club he left in the summer, while for Norwich goalkeeper Matthew Gilks - who went in the opposite direction as part of the Hoolahan deal - will start on the bench for Blackpool.
Mo Camara will also be returning to Carrow Road after becoming a summer loan signing from Derby by Seasiders' manager Simon Grayson, having made 23 appearances on loan for the Canaries last season.
Blackpool's start to the season has been similar to Norwich's - no points, no goals and a Carling Cup exit to lower league opposition - and they will be almost unrecognisable from the side that won 2-1 at Carrow Road last season following a summer of squad upheaval for Grayson.