Ivo Pinto is feeling the love from Norwich City fans
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Ivo Pinto is out to make a late bid to push his claims for Norwich City's player-of-the-year.
The fans' favourite is sure to be among the front-runners as the Canaries' supporters cast their annual vote for the prestigious award.
Pinto has been one of the few consistent Championship performers in a poor campaign, and the 27-year-old enhanced his popularity by pledging his future to the club prior to the latest 2-0 league win over Brighton.
'The fans have been amazing for me. They are the only part that didn't fail this season,' he said. 'They are with us home and away. I know it is not easy as a supporter. We are all supporters of one team or another and the expectations here were so high, so this is tough. We really need them.
'At this moment our objective, our goals have gone. You have to try and be strong in your head, it is not easy, but we have to leave the club in the first week of May knowing you gave everything. Even if the results were not always good. It is not a good season. We just need to prepare ourselves for the next season. I don't know if it needs a lot of change. Stuart (Webber) is the man to answer that. For sure, something has to change. I don't know if it is a lot of things or not.'
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Pinto aims to finish the campaign on a winning note ahead of this weekend's Championship trip to Leeds United and a home finale against QPR.
'We have to show we are still here and we care about the club,' he said. 'It is better to finish with 70 or more points than less. I always want better. It is hard to take. We had everything we needed to be in the top. We have shown at times we can or that we could. That is what makes it feel even worse. If you can't then you can't but we showed against teams like Preston and Reading it is about consistency. The Championship is a long season and you have to maintain the top of your form. If you do not, if you are up and down and you won't have a chance.'
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Pinto paid tribute to the job interim chief Alan Irvine has done since Alex Neil's exit.
'He knows the boys and the team. It is not easy for him as well after Alex leaving the club,' he said. 'He knows how to speak with us. It is not easy because with the results the team is not in the best shape mentally but there has been a good connection.'