December 11 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Martin Olsson strikes you as a player who does not suffer self-doubt. Norwich City’s Swedish international defender insists it was only a matter of time before he would force his way into the first team picture at Carrow Road.
Chris Hughton’s containment policy was designed to ease the 25-year-old back into the fold after his previous campaign was blighted by injury prior to sealing a summer move from Blackburn. Olsson was the headline omission from some of City’s early Premier League squads, but the attacking full-back believes he is now the man in possession.
“Yes, I was a little surprised how long it has taken (to break in). I thought I did well in pre-season and in the national team as well but the gaffer picks the team,” he said. “I was out injured for four months as well. It took me time to get in but hopefully I will start against Arsenal.
“The manager spoke to me early on and said that I had been out for four months and that my chance would come. He was right, so hopefully I can keep the shirt now. That is how it should be when you have a good squad. If you are playing then you should have pressure on you and (Javier) Garrido has been doing alright, but I think I have been doing well. He probably feels the same, but it is the gaffer who picks the team.”
Olsson can also boast a recent win at the Emirates on his CV after a pivotal role in Blackburn’s surprise FA Cup win last season.
“That tells me anything can happen,” he said. “We sat back that night and were hoping they were not going to score too many goals but we got a chance at the end and we defended well as a team. (Colin) Kazim-Richards scored the goal but it was after my shot - he wouldn’t have scored otherwise.
“That is what we have to do now. You have to show patience because they will try to create a lot of chances and put us under a lot of pressure. We have lads who can catch them on the counter-attack, but it is the gaffer who comes up with the tactics so we’ll wait and see what he has in store. I’ve played a few times there. We drew there 0-0 as well I remember but we have lost big as well; let’s not talk about those ones.
“We have nothing to lose. Probably the majority of people don’t expect too much from us against Arsenal so we have to turn that around to our advantage. It is always going to be tough. They have good players even if some like (Theo) Walcott or (Mesut) Ozil are not fit.”
Olsson views a daunting return trip to London as total justification for his decision to swap the Championship for the big time.
“I was at Blackburn a long time but I felt I needed a change. I believe the Premier League is my league,” he said. “I look at the players in the Norwich squad and I think we can have a good season. You look at some of the games we have played where we have picked up points. We played well against Stoke and Chelsea and we have a strong squad.”
Olsson knows a trip to the league leaders is not the ideal hangover cure to a battling defeat against Chelsea prior to the international break.
“We have some big games coming up. Not just Arsenal but (Manchester) City as well and United, Cardiff is a big game but the Emirates is always a hard place to go and pick up points,” he said.
“If we produce what we did against Chelsea then we have a chance. It is tough but I think we have the right players. Gary Hooper can score goals and Leroy Fer has played well in the recent matches. We’ll just go out and play our game. I think the spirit within the group is that we can go and do something.
“There is plenty of confidence. Most of the players here love to perform under the pressure.
“Of course we were annoyed about Chelsea but they have class players. They brought on (Eden) Hazard and Willian and they can change a game just like that.
“We worked hard but that have so much quality and they scored some good goals, but even if you lose you have to stay positive.”
Chris Hughton admitted Norwich’s soft centre again contributed to their downfall as Luis Suarez inspired Liverpool to a 5-1 Premier League win on Wednesday night at Anfield.