Continue the good work, City

CHRIS LAKEY Norwich City's pre-season preparations are going to plan - but there will be no let-up as the Canaries seek to exorcise the demons of last season.


Norwich City's pre-season preparations are going to plan - but there will be no let-up as the Canaries seek to exorcise the demons of last season.

Three wins out of three in the space of a week have lifted spirits in the City camp, but manager Nigel Worthington insists there is still plenty of work to be done.

“It is on track - managers and coaches are always looking for an improvement and we're no different to anybody else,” said Worthington, who saw his side win 2-0 at Livingston on Tuesday night in their biggest test of the summer to date.

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“It is very important not to go overboard about it - pre-season is about getting ready for the start of the season and at the moment it is ticking along in the right way. There are a lot of good things happening and there is a lot of work still to be done, so there is more improvement to come.

“Things are going okay at the moment and we will make sure the players stay focused, keep believing in what we are trying to show them and talk to them about it in training and if they do that - and they have been doping it on pre-season up to now - if they keep doing that, hopefully we can have a very good season.”

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Worthington sends his side out again on Saturday at Falkirk before returning to Norfolk for next Wednesday's Craig Fleming testimonial match against Newcastle United.

By then, he hopes, they will be well up to speed as far as fitness goes. City players were given the afternoon off to have a look around Edinburgh yesterday, but will be back for morning and afternoon sessions today and tomorrow.

“Part of the reason we have come to Scotland is that the Scottish teams are a couple of weeks ahead of us in pre-season and so the fitness levels and everything else is superior to what we have at the moment.”

Livingston provided a much stiffer test, physically, than either Fakenham or Cambridge United, and Worthington was delighted at City's response.

“The players have gone out and sprayed the ball about, neat and tidy, played nice and crisply,” he said. “I want them to play to a high tempo, go and press the ball.

“I was delighted with the way we pressed the ball and won balls closer to the opposition goal than what we have done. They are things we have been working on in training and it is always nice to see that players are taking it on board.”

Adam Drury wore the captain's armband at Livingston for the first time since being named skipper for the new season, and Worthington said the choice of his left back - and central defender Gary Doherty as vice-captain - was made for the sake of long-term continuity.

“He (Drury) is young enough and with Doherty as vice-captain we are looking at the younger ones, the ones who are hopefully going to be the backbone of the team for a few years and working together to make sure the dressing room stays sweet and everybody behaves themselves and works towards what we are doing.”

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