Friday, November 9, 2012
Robert Snodgrass rejects the notion Norwich City’s Premier League test at struggling Reading is a ‘must win’ fixture for the Canaries.
Chris Hughton’s squad will head to the Madejski Stadium as the form side with the top flight new boys still searching for their first league victory of the campaign. Snodgrass is keen to pile fresh misery on the Royals, but the visitors will pay their hosts plenty of respect.
“I think every game is a must win game. I don’t think you can approach any game and think you’ve got room for error,” he said. “You need to approach every game believing you can win it. I don’t think any of the lads would be here if we didn’t believe that.
“The manager’s got a philosophy here that you’ve got to win every single game and he puts that belief into the players. As a player, I wouldn’t be fair to myself if I didn’t believe I could win every game. We know what to expect at Reading. Reading will be tough opposition, but we have some great strength in depth in the squad as well so it will be a good game.”
Snodgrass was centre of attention in more ways than one last time out against Stoke with a clinical free kick assist for Bradley Johnson’s match-winning header, after being hauled down by Potters’ left-back Andy Wilkinson. Stoke chief Tony Pulis was furious at the officials for awarding the set piece, but Snodgrass insists he was touched.
“Yes. What you’re told as a winger is to try to cut across and I felt a bit of contact. I was past him so it was a chance for me to go and put the ball in the box anyway,” he said. “Their manager had different views on it but the linesman was closest and he flagged, so we’re very fortunate we got the goal off it and it set us on our way to three points.
“I think if he’s watched Match of the Day, you’ll see how the incidents are split, where one manager thinks it was a penalty or it wasn’t. This is football – you believe that you should get some decisions and we’ve been very unfortunate with some decisions.”
Snodgrass has been overlooked for Scotland’s Luxembourg friendly next week, but the wide player is not unduly concerned by the snub from interim national coach Billy Stark after the departure of Craig Levein.
“No, I’ve been very unfortunate in the Scotland set-up that I’ve had to pull out over maybe 10 games with niggling injuries that have set me back,” he said.
“He’s left out maybe eight to 10 players who are usually in the squad, so I don’t look too much into it.
“When you’re a boy, it’s what you dream about, playing for the national team and there’s no better feeling than pulling that shirt on at Hampden with a home crowd. The Serbia (World Cup) game was a great feeling for me and I wanted to build on that, but the ankle injury since the start of the season has set me back. I’m coming on nicely with my rehab to get my ankle better.”
The 25-year-old was sad to see Levein’s departure after a wretched start to Scotland’s World Cup qualifying campaign.
“It’s always disappointing to see a manager go, especially one that gave you your chance but this is football,” he said. “Managers come and go. I’m old enough now to realise this is part and parcel of the game.
“It’s always disappointing but Craig Levein will move on, Scotland will move on and they will try to get their candidate after this game. But there’s now a bit of time. I don’t believe the next game is until February so it buys them a little bit of time before they make the decision.”