Zimbo pleased with spirit in the City camp as he provides injury update
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Christoph Zimmermann is hopeful that he is finally overcoming his niggling calf injury and says that Norwich City’s players always believed their performances would start bringing points, despite some early season concerns.
The centre-back has missed the last three matches and had to watch from the sidelines as Ben Gibson and Grant Hanley start forming a partnership, with the 2-1 win over Wycombe on Saturday sealing a third consecutive victory.
Zimmermann had worn the captain’s armband as he played every minute of the opening four games of the season, with 1-0 defeats to Bournemouth and Derby proving frustrating as positive performances ended in defeat.
“The calf’s getting better, luckily,” said the German defender. “I was hoping to be a bit further ahead than where I am at the moment.
“It was on a bit of a standstill for three or four days and it didn’t allow me to start running earlier, but it’s become better the last few days.
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“So heading in the right direction, definitely.”
The 27-year-old saw his Premier League season ruined by knee, ankle and hamstring injuries, returning for the final two matches of the campaign with relegation already sealed.
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So as he is forced to be patient again, Zimmermann has been pleased to see the atmosphere improving around the City squad.
Speaking ahead of the win over Wycombe, to the Canaries’ NR1 Live match-day show, he explained: “Certainly if you go back three weeks after we had lost to Derby and everyone was heading off to international duty, or some stayed here, the team was not all together - obviously it was a rough couple of days.
“You still have the last game in your mind and you think ‘how have we lost to Derby in that game?!’ when there was just one team going forward and trying to win the game. So obviously the mood wasn’t great then.
“But there was always the belief that we can make things happen and the last two games have helped a lot, boosting our confidence again. It’s always good to start with two wins after the international break and try to get in a good run where you keep winning games.”
Saturday’s match saw the ‘Let Fans In’ campaign publicised around Carrow Road, as government guidelines allowed 100 fans to watch the game at the stadium, but on TV screens in the Gunn Club within the Barclay Stand - despite the game being played on the other side of the wall.
Zimmermann admits the experience of playing isn’t the same without spectators just isn’t the same, as uncertainty continues about when Covid-19 restrictions will be eased enough for fans to start returning.
“We were lucky enough to have at least 1,000 supporters in the ground against Preston and you can tell how much of a difference it makes,” he continued.
“The difference between no supporters and 1,000 is unbelievable. Obviously there is a difference between 1,000 and 27,000 but the similarity is you get a reaction from the crowd when you are going forward, or defending when you win the ball or have a successful tackle.
“You always have a response from the crowd, you get that emotion back and that just helps you in the game so much.
“It’s a bit sad that we don’t have the supporters at the moment and obviously most likely not for a couple of months maybe, we’ll see how the situation develops.
“It’s just not the same and you start to realise the importance of supporters in the stadium, when you don’t have them.”