'Wall of noise' is needed
CHRIS WISE Nigel Worthington is hoping for a wall of noise from the stands this evening as his side attempt to record a long overdue victory at Carrow Road.
Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington is hoping for a wall of noise from the stands this evening as his side attempt to record a long overdue victory at Carrow Road.
The Canaries are currently on a run of four straight home defeats - their worst sequence since the early stages of the 1968-69 campaign - and are under pressure to put things right against a struggling Brighton outfit.
Worthington is well aware that the responsiltiy for doing that lies with himself and the players - but he feels the supporters will also have a key role to play on what is sure to be a highly charged occasion.
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“The fans are the most important people and we want to go and perform and give them something to shout about,” he said.
“We'll be looking for a good start - and then we can take the game on from there. Just go and be ultra positive from minute one - that will be my message to the players.
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“It's down to them - but the fans can help us along the way. I thought the noise at the start of our last home game against Ipswich was absolutely magnificent. Yes, it was a local derby but I hope they can reproduce that against Brighton.”
Of course a below-par City side failed to pick up on the positive vibes from the fans in the East Anglian derby and slumped to a hugely disappointing 2-1 defeat as a result. But Worthington believes he spotted the green shoots of recovery at Hull's KC Stadium on Saturday as the Canaries battled their way to a hard-earned 1-1 draw - and is now looking for his players to build on the result in front of their long-suffering fans.
“The players performed well away from home on Saturday,” he said. “We kept our nerve after going behind and in the second half we pushed and pushed and got what we deserved in the end.
“Now we want to replicate that sort of performance at Carrow Road. I want them to go and do what they are asked to do - work hard, pass the ball well and then go and add the finishing touch. There were a lot of positives from the weekend but we do need to show a bit more penetration in and around the penalty box. That will come through hard work.
“From our point of view we have just got to go out there and play, go and enjoy our football. If we work hard and play well then we can go on and win the game. But there are no easy games in this league - there are no guarantees.
“It hasn't been easy for Brighton in recent years. Because of the ground situation Mark McGhee has worked in a very controlled environment. His only option has been to get the players out on the pitch and get them working hard - and that is what he has done.
“We'll have the utmost respect for them but it is about us going out there and doing our own job with the quality and ability we have got.”
City went in Saturday's fixture with an attacking formation, with the front four of Jonatan Johansson, Robert Earnshaw, Darren Huckerby and Peter Thorne boasting nearly 500 career goals between them. The experienced strike-force failed to deliver on the day, with the shot-shy Canaries having just one effort on target all afternoon, but Worthington is convinced that everything will click into place once the January signings have settled into their new roles.
“With a little bit of working together, gelling together, the goals will start to come,” he said. “They are all capable of scoring goals and that is why they are in the team. So it is a case of working hard in training and getting it right in games.
“When players move to new clubs you have got to be patient. The are moving areas, moving house. They are sometimes leaving wives, girlfriends and children behind for a while. They are coming into a new environment, a new football club - they are meeting new team-mates. They have got to get to know them as people and they have also got to learn about how they play. There's a lot that has to be taken into the equation that sometimes gets over-looked.
“It's not just a case of bringing a player in and just saying 'go out and perform'. There is a lot more to it than that.
“I am pleased with the way all three new-boys have started. Jonatan worked hard for us on the right hand side on Saturday and I thought Rob showed in the second half what a big threat he can when he gets on the ball and runs at people.
“Zesh Rehman also had another good steady game at Hull. They were all plusses for us.”