Rejuvenated McKenzie feeling hot, hot, hot
CHRIS LAKEY Leon McKenzie is looking forward to a trouble-free season - which means lots of goals and no visits to the Colney treatment room.
Leon McKenzie is looking forward to a trouble-free season - which means lots of goals and no visits to the Colney treatment room.
The Canaries front-man bagged his first goal of pre-season in the dying moments to wrap up the 3-1 at Cambridge on Saturday after a typical all-action performance - even if it was form a slightly unusual position. McKenzie played the second half, most of which was spent wide on the left, a position usually reserved for Darren Huckerby.
"That was a different position for me and I felt I adapted to it quite well," said McKenzie, whose efforts last season were disrupted by injuries which restricted him to just 11 Championship starts. "I was doing my thing, I work 110pc anyway, but a lot of things are coming out in my game, I am in my prime and I am due a nice, big season.
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"I just want things to go smoothly for me, that's what I am looking to do, but I don't pick the team - I just have to work hard and do the best I can and if I am not scoring I am doing something to help the team win."
McKenzie is usually the one on the ends of crosses, but he raised a few eyebrows by slinging in some decent balls from the left.
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"You don't often see me doing it, but it is there. It is more Hucks' position, no one will come in front of Hucks to do that job, but all it shows is I am able to do it."
What the change of position didn't do was stunt that ferocious appetite for hard work that has made McKenzie so popular with City fans - including a couple of long distance runs to get a tackle in on the left flank. Obviously with the young boy Pat (Bexfield), I am not going to let him get exposed a lot, he is still learning," said McKenzie. "It is just to come back and show him I am not mucking about, those tackles are like that for a reason, whether it's pre-season or Leeds United away, it doesn't matter."
McKenzie was rewarded with a goal in the final minute when he outjumped young keeper Phil Smith to nod home, although the 28-year-old took the goal in his stride.
"It's not a case of the pressure being off, not at this stage," he said. "It is always nice to bang one in, but I remember last year I went through all pre-season without scoring. I have one now, but the main thing for me is just keeping fit."