Tangible rewards remain elusive for Norwich City midfielder Robert Snodgrass
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Robert Snodgrass is a firm believer in footballing justice. The Scottish international is adamant Norwich's recent form contradicts their lowly Premier League status.
The Scottish international admits it has been hard to reconcile heavy league defeats to Chelsea and Arsenal with the encouraging tone of both those losing performances.
'I'll be honest with you, over the last couple of weeks it has been very strange. We feel we have played well in spells of those games and yet we have conceded seven goals,' he said. 'We were in matches against two of the best sides in the division. It has been very difficult to take because it is small margins in this league and twists and turns at crucial moments. We feel we are a solid unit but at the 60, 70 minute mark of games the manager has felt we need to go and push to try and win the game and I'm sure the fans felt the same way but these teams have capitalised on that.
'Against Arsenal last year and most of the big teams the statistics showed we didn't have much of the ball and maybe one or two shots on target. These teams press you higher up the park but no-one can tell me we didn't keep the ball as well as Arsenal (last week). Certainly in that period 10 minutes before the interval and 15 minutes after there was only one team going to win the game.'
Snodgrass remains convinced City's commitment to revising the style of play will pay dividends.
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'We have passed the ball better than ever but it is a thin line regarding possession and getting points. We are making progress in our style but we are still third from bottom,' he said. 'The backroom staff is very confident in this group of players. We are a good bunch of lads and we know the position we are in. We were in a similar situation last year and we went 10 games unbeaten. I know there is no guarantee we can do something similar but we believe we have the players to do it.
'Cardiff will approach this game the same as us. They will believe they can come here and win. It comes down to who wants it more. They have had some good results, a little bit like ourselves, and they have some terrific players. I don't buy into the theory it is a must-win. Every game is a must-win. We believed we could beat Arsenal and we feel the same about Cardiff.'
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City's lack of productivity from set pieces this season is one cause for concern that has inevitably placed Snodgrass under scrutiny.
'I think too many people criticise on one delivery these days if it doesn't go well,' he said. 'Against Stoke I put in maybe three or four that were on the button. If I wasn't producing on set pieces the manager would take me off them - it's as simple as that. It's a big part of our game and he monitors things very closely so he is obviously happy with it.
'On the set pieces you need to attack the ball in the box as well as getting the delivery into the right area. If the gaffer wants to change that then I will try to get into the box to score myself. In general play when you have one striker it means the wide players need to be pinpoint instead of perhaps maybe trying to hit an area. Most teams nowadays play one up top and very rarely do you see headed goals from crosses. Most managers want wingers to come inside and let full-backs bomb on.'
Snodgrass has yet to open his goal account for the Canaries second time round after a productive debut campaign, but the midfielder was on target for his country in the recent World Cup qualifying win over play-off contenders Croatia.
'I play in a different position for Scotland. It is more about getting on the ball and showing what I can do,' he said. 'That is what Gordon Strachan said to me. He wants me to play off the front but drift as well. At Norwich I have a more settled position on the right of midfield and you are working on shape and perhaps you do not get as many chances. It was a good international break for me personally, but the most important thing was getting the result.'