City strikers need to take risks - Duffy
CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City's shot-shy strikers will be told to take more risks when they attempt to break their six-match goal drought this afternoon.
Norwich City's shot-shy strikers will be told to take more risks when they attempt to break their six-match goal drought this afternoon.
City haven't hit the back of the net since David Strihavka's 75th-minute winner against Crystal Palace in mid-September - more than five league games, and one Carling Cup tie, ago.
“We have to be more creative and we have to take a bit more risk in the last third of the pitch and concentrate in the last third,” said caretaker manager Jim Duffy.
“It's not just someone missing a chance from six yards, it is the pass leading up to it. And to maintain that pass has let us down, that final pass, to give strikers a chance. Maybe they have made good movement but the pass hasn't reached them, so we have to be a little more creative and concentrate in the last third of the pitch.”
City's goal drought has already equalled the worst in their history and become a millstone around the current squad's neck - ending it today would be a boost for a man hoping to become Peter Grant's successor on a permanent basis.
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“It is like any football situation - if people highlight things then of course, if anybody reads or hears it, it becomes part of their thoughts,” he said. “The only way they can turn that around is by going and scoring a few goals and letting that situation transfer to another club or another player.
“I remember when Peter Crouch went to Liverpool it was like, he hasn't scored here or here, and before you know it he was one of the top goal scorers, goes on to play for England and he's a magnificent goal scorer. So it can change very quickly in football, and that is the intention for us.
“If we do that, hopefully the chances will fall for the players - whether it's the strikers or not it doesn't really matter to me, as long as they go in the back of the net.”
Duffy saw Bristol City beat Sheffield United 2-0 in their last game and will be well aware that Gary Johnson's team have conceded just four goals in five away trips this season - only Leicester have been so mean.
“I watched the game against Sheffield United a couple of weeks ago and obviously we have had DVDs of other games as well and like any match we have prepared for the opposition, but the most important thing for us is putting on a performance and showing the fans we can move forward,” said Duffy. “We know Bristol City are an excellent side, they have started the season really well, they were outstanding against Sheffield United, I was very impressed.
“The mood in the dressing room is to look forward. For me it's just focus on the game 100pc, and to do that you need to be upbeat so that's what the players have been like.
“Since we came back on Monday after the international break and not having a match last weekend, there has been a very positive vibe around the dressing room. We just have to make sure that carries on for the 90 minutes on Saturday.”