Safri shares Grant's big City ambitions
CHRIS LAKEY Canaries midfielder Youssef Safri has written off his chances of playing in City's season finale at Sheffield Wednesday this weekend. But the Moroccan international - out of action since damaging a hamstring a month ago - says City fans haven't seen the last of him.
Canaries midfielder Youssef Safri has written off his chances of playing in City's season finale at Sheffield Wednesday this weekend.
But the Moroccan international - out of action since damaging a hamstring a month ago - says City fans haven't seen the last of him.
Safri, 30, has a year left on his contract, and rumours have been rife that he is on his way out of Carrow Road.
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However, Safri insists the talk is wide of the mark, and says he is keen to be part of the new era under manager Peter Grant.
“I still have one year on my contract,” said Safri. “I haven't spoken to anyone at the club at the moment and there is noting with any other clubs or anything like that.
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“Hopefully I will still be here next season - I want to be here and I want to start again with a good pre-season.
“I have heard what the manager and the club are saying wanting to get new players in and they are talking about promotion or the play-offs and that is good for any player to hear.
“I want to be part of it and hopefully I can be.”
Grant has made it clear he will be scouring the transfer markets for new talent in the summer as he seeks to build his own team - and one capable of reaching the Premiership - at Carrow Road.
And Safri says the manager's ambitions are is music to his ears.
“In the last part of the season we sometimes thought we had a chance of reaching the play-offs, but in the end there was nothing, and that is bad for us,” said Safri. “If you hear that new faces are coming in it shows the ambition.
“I agree we need to bring in some good players to help the team. We still have some very good players here, but we still need maybe four really good players to help the squad - but I am sure the manager knows that.”
Safri has missed City's last four games and says the trip to Hillsborough this weekend has come too early for him.
“I don't think I can make it,” said the 30-year-old. “It's just taking a risk and it will just cause me more frustration. I don't want to make the injury worse, I just want to get fit.
“It is frustrating for me. I would have liked one or two games before the end of the season, but I won't be able to and that means it's a bad end to the season for me.
“I feel angry about it because I wanted to play. I wish I had been playing, especially against Ipswich. I watched the game from the stands and I was not happy at all sitting there doing nothing.”
Safri's injury has meant a summer holiday has been cancelled in deference to further work at City's Colney training centre - and it could mean home visits for two vital African Cup of Nations qualifying matches next month, against Zimbabwe in Rabat and then away to Malawi, could also be sacrificed.
“We have two games in June, but I won't be looking at them because I need to be fit first,” said Safri. “I won't be sure of playing in the national team until I get fit staying here. I have cancelled my holiday to get fit -that is the rules of football club, that I have to be fit before I can to leave.
“I spoke to the physio who said there is a chance for June, which is good, but I am not thinking about it yet. My aim is to get fit and get in a really good pre-season like I did last year. I was happy with my performances then. There were a few troubles but they were normal for every player.”