Safri eager to prove his worth

CHRIS LAKEY Youssef Safri says he has done enough to earn a recall to the Norwich side at Sunderland.The Moroccan has found himself on the sidelines for the past three games - dropped for the East Anglian derby before pulling out with flu, an unused sub against Hull on Saturday and then starting from the subs' bench in midweek against Leicester.

CHRIS LAKEY

Youssef Safri says he has done enough to earn a recall to the Norwich side at Sunderland.

The Moroccan has found himself on the sidelines for the past three games - dropped for the East Anglian derby before pulling out with flu, an unused sub against Hull on Saturday and then starting from the subs' bench in midweek against Leicester.

But a 70-minute appearance and a major contribution in Robert Earnshaw's goal to put City 2-1 up on Tuesday - plus midfield injury problems - could mean a starting place at the Stadium of Light.


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Safri certainly believes he did enough.

“I think I did,” he said. “If not I will respect the decision of the manager. I am working hard and just waiting for another chance as well. Like I said, everything from the manager I have to respect but I think I deserve to start.

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“Winning the game was good because I hadn't played for a while. I was looking forward to starting the game but I didn't, but when I came on I worked hard and we got the win which was good for me and the team.”

While Safri is itching for a recall, he knows it would be short-lived - his booking against Leicester for a foul on Danny Tiatto has taken him to five yellows for the season, and means he will be banned for the visit of Sheffield Wednesday next weekend.

It was a turn of events he could have done without - particularly as he felt hard done by.

“I was shocked because I just went for the ball with my head and suddenly he told me I was booked,” said Safri. “I couldn't understand because there wasn't any challenge. It seemed strange because a few lads had silly bookings.

“After not playing for a while, I came back with a good win and a good performance from all the players and you want to play every game but I am despondent about the fifth card because I want to play every game. I don't want to be on the bench or suspended but these are the rules and I have to wait again.”

But there were highlights - in particular the fans and Safri's part in Earnshaw's goal.

“I was very pleased with the reaction of the fans, so happy,” he said. “It was so, so good, all credit to them, they weren't silent for a minute. From start to finish it was very good and fantastic support from them and you can see the reaction from the players as well - everybody could see and hear something good.

“I am so pleased about the goal because all the time the manager is asking me to put pressure on the midfield so that's what I was working hard on and I did it in the game. I had the ball from midfield and one pass and a good run from Earnie - it was easy for me to give him that lovely ball and to score, it was really good and I was so pleased with it as well.”

A repeat tomorrow would be perfect, but Safri knows from recent experience how tough it will be.

“When we played against them in Norwich they were a very, very good team and they are looking like that all the time,” he said. “They have a good manager who used to be a great player, but the win we had against Leicester has given a lot of confidence to the players to get back to winning games and hopefully we can do it on Saturday.

“We will be much better after the win so everybody is looking forward to the Sunderland game.”

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