Norwich City preview: Alan Irvine summons the spirit of Jamie Carragher to sink Leeds United

Alex Pritchard will be a key figure again for Norwich City. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Lt

Alex Pritchard will be a key figure again for Norwich City. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Alan Irvine will summon the spirit of Jamie Carragher to plot Leeds' Championship downfall.

Chris Wood was on target in the 3-2 win at Carrow Road.
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Wood was on target in the 3-2 win at Carrow Road. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City's wretched defensive record has sunk any chance of promotion and standing in their way at Elland Road is the second tier's deadliest marksman.

Chris Wood has already plundered goals in league and cup triumphs against City this season, in a prolific 28-goal campaign, and Irvine revealed City's squad have been drilled hard in recent days to avoid a repeat.

'He is a real predator between the posts. It is very interesting to see where he has scored his goals from,' he said. 'He scores nearly all his goals in the same area. We are going to have to be good in the middle of our box, because he is a massive threat. That was Tuesday's work on the training field.

'We created scenarios where we had overloads out wide to get the ball into areas they had to deal with crosses. Then it's about the positioning of your body and feet, communication and a desire and determination to stop the ball going to your opponent. They are the basics but they have to be done. I spoke to Jamie Carragher a number of years ago, when Liverpool were at their best defensively, and they did it every week, they worked on the back four every single week in training.

Ryan Bennett could be in for another bruising encounter against Leeds. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focu

Ryan Bennett could be in for another bruising encounter against Leeds. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd


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'For me, it cannot do any harm to repeat that work and then the players have to make sure they pull each other around on the pitch so when the games come they can deal with a Glenn Murray, who wants to pull to the far post, or a Chris Wood, who will be in between the posts.'

Irvine's team talk will include references to City's painful, late league defeat to Leeds at Carrow Road and a penalty shoot out League Cup exit.

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'We should have won the cup game and we shot ourselves in the foot at Carrow Road,' he said. 'We should have had better results and we aim to put that right. Whatever you need to use as a player for motivation; whether it's, we owe them one or we need to stop them from winning this game to get into the play-offs or, like Brighton, winning the title at our patch, I am quite happy to use all those things.

'Clearly it will be a very lively atmosphere at the start of the game with a big crowd but whereas it is a difficult place to go for visiting teams it can sometimes be a difficult place for the home team, because of the demands of the crowd. If we start well we can make it a nervous place for them. I enjoyed playing at Old Trafford because they always gave you stick there and if they were doing that then you were doing okay. For me, it is fantastic to walk out at an Elland Road that is bouncing and if you don't enjoy that as a player you are probably doing the wrong job. I will also mention we can turn the crowd by playing well. Equally, if you give them a leg up it can be an uncomfortable place for us.'

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