Robert Snodgrass is ready to bust a lung for Norwich City
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Robert Snodgrass is prepared to go the extra mile in pursuit of Norwich's push for Premier League survival.
The Scottish international's prodigious work rate since arriving from Leeds last summer has complemented the technical skills that mark him out as a leading City player-of-the-year candidate.
Snodgrass, inset, routinely clocks up more than six miles per shift and the midfielder insists such feats of endurance are an essential component for any top player.
'The fitness coaches go through that type of stuff and show you this is your number, so as an individual you try to beat that each week,' he said. 'You try to put in that level of performance and me running six or seven miles is trying to help the team. That's the most important thing, it's not about Robert Snodgrass but in a certain way it is trying to help the team. I don't know the most I have ever run in a game, you would have to ask the fitness coaches.
'They will say high numbers this week or whatever, and I'm sure every manager in the Premier League will look at the numbers to see if their players are tired, or who is not so tired and keep them in the side if that's not the case.
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'This league is all about high energy and athletes and I've seen that, especially against Everton. The amount of miles the Everton boys covered, and that comes from a great manager, David Moyes, wanting them to play at a tempo. It's what he's wanted for many years and just shows you why they're up at the top.'
Premier League footballers may enjoy the trappings of success but Snodgrass' approach to his craft illustrates they live the life.
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'As a footballer you've got a job to do and it's preparing yourself for Saturday so you can be in the best mental and physical shape you can possibly be, he said.
'You eat the right things – sometimes you're just like a machine, you need to take care of your body, especially with how physical it is. Take care of yourself on and off the park and make sure you're physically right for the high demands the Premier League sets upon you.
'There are a loads of things, technology-wise, to take care of players so they are physically right when it comes to Saturday. You need to add those little extra bits to your game and that's when you see players like David Silva and Sergio Aguero. They work as hard as anybody.
'I've seen it this year when we played against them and they were down to 10 men, with Aguero on the left wing working hard for the team.'
Chris Hughton's ability to keep Norwich clear of the relegation battle for the majority of this season hinges on harnessing the collective work ethic typified by Snodgrass.
'You get it into your head that it's about the team and you need to work as hard as you possibly can for the team. That will be the be-all and end-all. There is no individual bigger than Norwich City,' he said.
'People say it takes individuals to win games but you look at the team, people pulling you through. It might take Sébastien Bassong or Michael Turner with a flick in the 94th minute. As an individual, I try and do that.
'We have a great bunch of lads, honest, hard-working and a great nutrition and fitness side of things and that's why people have noticed this season that Norwich do work very, very hard and that's the way the club's been built. That's the feel I've got about it.
'The gaffer has brought that in a lot this year – work as hard as you possibly can and get legs and energy in defence, midfield and up front and it gets you results. If you work harder than your opponents, you've got a better chance.'
Snodgrass' ability on set pieces has tipped the balance during numerous points in City's timeline this season, including a free kick equaliser against today's opponents Southampton on the south coast.
'That goal, people say, the keeper gave me a hand on that one. I was just quite glad to get the ball on target and cause them problems,' he said.
'Since then I've scored a couple of free-kicks but have not had many chances from free-kicks since, so it was nice to get on the score sheet that day but I'll just be happy if we get three points. That's the main aim.
'When we were down at the bottom, people were writing us off and saying we were down. Then you see the pundits saying you're safe when we started to pick up some results. Too many people speak about different things and it's just up to us as players, we are the ones who can go out there and do the business.
'We've done quite well against the teams round about us, and we've done really well at home. It's only Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool who have beaten us at home in the league.
'We've had some real ding-dongs at home and as a player you want to be part of that, fighting for every point and it will be no different on Saturday.'