Town are in my sights - Roeder
David Cuffley Manager Glenn Roeder today admitted he has a couple of personal goals in view as Norwich City prepare for the final third of an extraordinary season - and one of them is finishing above Ipswich Town.
Manager Glenn Roeder today admitted he has a couple of personal goals in view as Norwich City prepare for the final third of an extraordinary season - and one of them is finishing above Ipswich Town.
The Canaries take on Hull City at Carrow Road tomorrow night (7.45pm), just four points adrift of the Coca-Cola Championship play-off places after stretching their unbeaten run to 12 matches with a 2-1 win at Cardiff.
While insisting he is concentrating only on the next game, Roeder is starting to acknowledge the possibility of a top six finish, but he has other targets he is desperate to hit.
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“I think we've made up 10 points now on Ipswich and we want to gather them in. That would be a target for me personally,” he said.
“I say to the lads 'You've all got to have different reasons and different goals because different things turn you on'.
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“I'm desperate to win every game but there's a couple that will mean a little bit more to me. A goal to finish above Ipswich would be one for me. I'm sure our supporters would endorse that goal.
“There's one game in particular that we play at home that I'm absolutely desperate to win. I'll play myself that night if I have to.”
That was almost certainly a reference to the visit of Stoke on March 11 after Roeder was angered by comments made by manager Tony Pulis in December, when they inflicted the Canaries' last league defeat.
Roeder has no fresh injury worries after the victory at Ninian Park, and he said: “The season is only just starting for us now - it is really. Hopefully the nightmare that was happening at Carrow Road at the end of October is starting now to slide away.
“Let other people's thoughts turn to other things that might happen this year. I don't think people really appreciate what has happened and how difficult it's been.
“For the first couple of months, I never even looked at the league table unless I had the paper upside down. I knew where we were, roughly, but it's only just in the last couple if weeks I can even bear to look at the table.
“I told the lads to do that when I first came here - forget looking at the table. You don't have to be told where we are, we know where we are. Just looking at it makes you even more miserable.”
He said he was pleased the Canaries' tremendous run had gone unnoticed by many.
He said: “Thankfully it's hardly attracted any attention because it's been a fantastic run.
“No one is expecting too much but the expectation levels have increased over the last few weeks. We are just slowly starting to get back to where Norwich City, when they are in the Championship, should be and I don't mean middle of the table. I mean within striking distance of the play-offs.
“We will only assess the season after the final whistle up at Sheffield Wednesday - and who knows? There might be some more games to play.”
Despite City's remarkable progress under Roeder, from eight points at the end of October to 41 now, he said it was not the first time one of his teams had recovered in such dramatic fashion.
He said: “At Newcastle we got into Europe with a team that looked as if it was sliding into the Championship. We were only four points off the bottom three and we ended up qualifying for the UEFA Cup that season.
“Again, it was a phenomenal run, a run that went unnoticed, only when you see what's happened since it makes you realise how well we did that year and how well we did last year considering we had horrific injuries - to find themselves in the mess they're in now. But I'm not bothered about that, I'm only bothered about Norwich.”