Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Robert Snodgrass cannot wait to get his chance under Gordon Strachan and hopes the new Scotland boss can take his game up a level – internationally and for Norwich City.
Along with Canaries full-back Russell Martin, winger Snodgrass is in Strachan’s first Scotland squad as they prepare for their friendly with Estonia, at Aberdeen’s Pittodrie Stadium tonight (7.45pm).
And the 25-year-old is looking forward to working with not only a new manager, but the right man for the Scotland job.
“I think Gordon can make me a better player,” he said. “He made his name as a winger for Aberdeen, Manchester United, Leeds and Scotland – so I’m sure he’ll feel he can improve my game. You learn different bits from every manager and that can take you a long way in your career. I’m looking forward to it.
“I’ll need to push myself hard to make sure I am part of his plans, and if I get the chance under him I’ll need to take it.
“He’s got loads of experience at a high level and I think he was the only man for the job. It’s up to us now, as players, to ensure he has a successful time as manager.”
Strachan’s achievements as a player and manager made him the natural replacement following Craig Levein’s dismissal in November. Those past successes will also ensure his players hold their new boss in high esteem from the off, heading into tonight.
“Gordon managed at Champions League level and took Celtic to the last 16 on two occasions; that kind of experience has to help you as an international manager,” said Snodgrass.
“He’s been a manager in Scotland and England, and by doing analysis on TV he’ll have watched a lot of games at club and international level.
“He’s had a few years out of the game and he’ll be itching to get started. For him, I don’t think there will be a better feeling than taking charge of your country. So he’ll feel he’s ready for this. He’s the type of guy who will command instant respect from the players.
“A good chunk of the squad have already worked under him – and won trophies for him at Celtic, which is important.
“The word respect goes a long way in football and, for us, it’ll be about earning Gordon’s respect. I’m too young to remember him as a player.
“But when I was at Leeds everyone spoke about him in such high regard. I’d see pictures of him all around Elland Road.
“After the likes of Eddie Gray and Peter Lorimer, Gordon kept the Scottish connection going there alongside Gary McAllister. And as I’ve grown up, I learnt more about Gordon. Everyone speaks about how passionate he is and that’s why I think he’s the right man for the job.”
Snodgrass does not want international improvement alone, as the City winger continues to adjust to the English top-flight following his summer move from Championship side Leeds.
“I’m happy with how I’ve been playing but I always want more,” he told the Daily Record.
“I’ve scored five goals but I really should have had 10 or 12. I’ve had some good chances but unfortunately they all seem to be landing on my head – which isn’t the strongest part of my game. But you have to be in the right area to get these opportunities so I have to continue to do that. People say the Premier League is the best league in the world and I’m in there, enjoying it.
“I’m playing on a regular basis but it’s true, when you get to the Premier League that’s when the hard work really begins as a player.
“In absolutely every game you play in you need to bite and scratch – do everything you possibly can to maximise your performance.”