Croft on a goal mission
Norwich talisman Lee Croft yesterday revealed his Championship goal mission. Croft bids to prolong his Carrow Road dream start when league hostilities resume at Coventry this weekend after notching twice in five outings since a £600,000 summer switch from Man City.
Norwich talisman Lee Croft yesterday revealed his Championship goal mission.
Croft bids to prolong his Carrow Road dream start when league hostilities resume at Coventry this weekend after notching twice in five outings since a £600,000 summer switch from Man City.
“I'm aiming to score quite a few this season,” he admitted. “I've really enjoyed coming down here and the team is playing good football which has helped me settle in - scoring a couple of goals is icing on the cake. I only managed one for Man City last year but I used to score quite a few at junior level and that's definitely part of my game. I'd like to get into double figures but the main thing is we continue winning games.
“We could probably have done without the international break and gone straight into the Coventry game on the back of beating Barnsley. We've had some hard training sessions for the lads who didn't go away, but I everyone is feeling fresh and looking to carry on our early season form.”
Croft's deadly partnership with Darren Huckerby earned an official seal of approval yesterday when the duo were crowned the Championship's best wideboys in the Actim Index ratings.
“For me, it's just great to learn off someone who plays in a similar position,” said the 21-year-old, speaking at the opening of the new Pilch sports store in Norwich's London Street. “It backs up how well it has gone for me so far, but it says more about the whole team - we need to continue it now for the whole season. Hucks' reckons I've helped because defences can't really double up on him. He's so quick and direct which is something I can take into my game and develop. I trained with him a few times when I was a young lad at Man City so I already knew him, along with Dickson (Etuhu), which was great.”
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The Wigan-born midfielder credits part of his instant success to the Holy Trinity spearheaded by free-scoring Robert Earnshaw - the potent trio weighing in with eight of Norwich's opening ten goals to propel Nigel Worthington's side up to second.
“It gives me a licence to go and play and suits the lads we have,” said Croft. “It's a nice balance because you know Earnie will finish anything we create.
“I really like the system - I've played a three in England youth teams so I didn't have to adapt. It's important you've got two good full backs from a defending point-of-view. Obviously Hucks and myself try to get back and help when we can, but I think results show the players are enjoying it.”
Croft is working overtime on the training pitch in a bid to convince Worthington he can last a full 90 minutes after a gentle introduction to the Championship hurly burly.
“I feel like I'm ready for it,” he said. “I've stayed behind and done a lot of extra running. Obviously the gaffer doesn't want me to get injured or blow up. I was behind the rest of the lads when I came in so it's important to build up the match fitness gradually. The longer I stay on pitch the better because I come into games more and more - it's in my own interests.”
Croft also revealed his ambition to gatecrash Peter Taylor's England U21 squad on the eve of tomorrow's European Championship qualifier in Switzerland.
“That is another major aim for me,” he said. “I've represented my country at every age group up to U21s, where I've been on standby before. My main focus must be Norwich City and if I'm playing well then touch wood I might get a call.”