Russell will continue to run the risk to boost City cause
Chris LakeyDarel Russell returns to the Canaries squad this afternoon still protesting his innocence - and insisting he won't change the way he plays. Russell is no stranger to the early bath - his dismissal in the 2-0 home defeat by Southampton was the eighth of his career and his seventh in a City shirt.Chris Lakey
Darel Russell returns to the Canaries squad this afternoon still protesting his innocence - and insisting he won't change the way he plays.
Russell is no stranger to the early bath - his dismissal in the 2-0 home defeat by Southampton was the eighth of his career and his seventh in a City shirt.
But the midfielder insists that changing his style would be bad for him - and bad for the team.
'It takes something away from me,' he said. 'I have got to go in and win balls, and if I start thinking and considering every time there is a ball to be won 'am I going to be sent off or not?' I think it is going to take a lot away from my game and probably be detrimental to the team as well if I am not playing at 100pc.
'I don't think I can change the way I play, but it's disappointing when you get situations that really shouldn't have been a red card being one and you are getting fully punished for it.'
Referee Russell Booth decided that when Russell caught Morgan Schneiderlin as he lifted his leg to try and guide the ball back to Simon Lappin it was a deliberate and dangerous offence.
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An appeal was thrown out and Russell missed three games: the fact City won them all is compensation, but doesn't heal the frustration.
'I don't really know what you have got to do for a tackle, and I don't think it was even a tackle in the sense that I was already favourite to win the ball and I was merely guiding it on to who I thought at the time was Chris Martin but was actually Simon Lappin and the lad has run in from behind and run into me and somehow the referee has decided to send me off,' said Russell.
'Obviously we tried to appeal it. I don't know how it's not been turned over. I spoke to an assessor as well and they said it shouldn't have been a card at the time, so why something hasn't happened about it I don't know.
'It's extremely disappointing - it has cost me in time and playing time and thank goodness the team has done marvellous in my absence.
'It's detrimental from the point that when you are in good form as well you want to continue doing what you are doing and it takes a little bit of your time out, you lose maybe a little bit of sharpness and fitness, you work to try and counter that in training and hopefully everything comes right when you do get your chance back again.'
Russell now has to wait and see whether manager Paul Lambert will bring him back straight away, or whether he will stick with Anthony McNamee.
There will be no bashing down of doors if Russell is on the bench.
'It's difficult,' he said. 'The lads have done fantastic so far and you have to try and do what you do in training and try and get yourself back in and playing again.
'Whatever situation comes at game time obviously I am hungry.
I would like to show what I can still do for the rest of the season, and there are not many games left now and we would like to get this aim that we have had for the whole season put to bed.
'I don't think anyone has the right to play. You have got to try and prove yourself in every game you play.
'As the old clich� goes, you are only as good as your last game and my last game I didn't last very long.
'Hopefully you do enough in training and you show what you can do and you get given a chance and when you get given that chance you take it with both hands and retain that position, that place, as long as you possibly can.'
For Russell, just being with the squad beats watching.
'I think any of the fans in the River End seeing the boys in the box probably saw me jumping up and down like mad every time, especially come the Southend game - I was going crazy,' he said.
'I saw the first goal and by the time I managed to get down I was jumping around with the stewards in the tunnel.
'It's frustrating because you want to be out there, and watching football for me is difficult because I like to be involved. I struggle to watch it too well. It has been frustrating but the results have been great.'