Nelson Oliveira using international break to regain full fitness for Norwich City’s play-off chase
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
International breaks may not be popular with some football fans but the current fallow period for clubs has come at a good time for Norwich City striker Nelson Oliveira.
The Canaries star made his return from injury as a late substitute in a 2-0 home win over Barnsley ahead of the break and is using the two weeks to regain full fitness after a foot injury.
That knock saw the skilful Portugal international miss six games, all of which City failed to win and a period during which manager Alex Neil lost his job.
'I feel good. I'm not at my best yet because I've had four or five weeks training with no real game time, but I feel well,' the 25-year-old former Benfica striker said.
'It wasn't easy; I got the red card (against Rotherham), and after that I came back strong but then I got the injury.
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'It was frustrating, it was tough, but that is football and it's in the past now. I need to start getting more game time and then it will be better.
'These two weeks will give me more fitness, more time to get to 100pc before the Aston Villa game. I can then build and improve from there.'
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The striker's nine goals have been a key part of keeping City's slim play-off hopes alive this season and he saw team-mate Cameron Jerome shine in his absence, with eight goals in 12 games.
If the two of them can now remain fit and firing, the Canaries may just be able to salvage a place in the top six after a roller-coaster season – and Oliveira says the players are confident they can rise to the challenge.
'Now we rest a bit and focus on the last month and a bit of the season because we have big games coming up,' he added, speaking to City's official website.
'We have something to prove and something to achieve in that period.
'If we want to get into the play-offs, we have to win these games. If we don't win against the top six, we don't deserve to go to the play-offs.
'We are focused to perform well and win those games, and we are confident as well. We think we can achieve it but we know it's not going to be easy.'
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