March 17 2014 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Norwich City midfielder Bradley Johnson is not buying into the hype that the Canaries’ New Year’s Day trip to Crystal Palace marks a defining moment in their Premier League season.
Chris Hughton’s squad have taken one point from three festive games ahead of facing an improving Eagles who can overhaul Norwich with a win at Selhurst Park. Johnson, however, predicts there will be plenty of twists and turns left in their bid for a fourth consecutive season of top flight football.
“People can talk about six point games but I am not going to say it is a must-win. In our eyes it is not one that decides our season. We have plenty of games left,” he said. “We are confident and we take a lot of positives from the other night (against Manchester United).
“We know we have to beat the teams in and around us or take points off them and apart from Fulham I feel we have done that. People can say these are massive games but at the halfway point of the season we are not in the bottom three whereas Palace is and they will be fighting for their lives. If you say it is all about getting to 40 points then we know we have to get them as quick as we can.”
Gary Hooper sunk Palace at Carrow Road last month but Johnson is wary of the attacking threat posed by the likes of Jason Puncheon and Dwight Gayle who scored a stunning winner to beat Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
“I’m good friends with Jason Puncheon who I knew from growing up and also Dwight Gayle who is a young striker making a name for himself,” he said. “That was an unbelievable goal he scored at Aston Villa and that is what he can bring. He is a good player who has come from the lower leagues like myself and he has worked hard and is now getting his rewards. Tony Pulis has gone in there and started to turn things around and Palace is always a tough place to go. I have never had an easy game there, but we want to stay in the league as much as them and we need to match them in that respect.”