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City winger Croft battling to be fit

PUBLISHED: 10:09 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:32 03 July 2010

Norwich City winger Lee Croft is working overtime to win his fitness battle ahead of Saturday's Championship clash with Sheffield Wednesday.

The influential 23-year-old is banking on City's physio team helping him force his way back into Bryan Gunn's plans for the Owls' visit.

Norwich City winger Lee Croft is working overtime to win his fitness battle ahead of Saturday's Championship clash with Sheffield Wednesday.

The influential 23-year-old is banking on City's physio team helping him force his way back into Bryan Gunn's plans for the Owls' visit.

Croft revealed he is yet to return to full training after picking up an ankle injury on the eve of Norwich's draw at Birmingham ahead of the international shutdown.

“It's getting better now but I'm still working with the physios and I've not trained for quite a while,” he said. “If it keeps improving then I hope to get back into training Thursday or Friday for the game on Saturday. I wouldn't say I'm confident but I'm hopeful - certainly if it keeps going the way it is going and the physios do their work then I hope to be involved.

“It killed me to miss Birmingham. That is the first game I've had to sit out for a while and to watch it was so frustrating but it gives you that hunger to get back as quick as possible. It was hard watching the lads at St Andrew's but I'm really eager to get back for Sheffield Wednesday.”

Croft is confident City can extend their three-match unbeaten run after defeat at Blackpool earlier this month left them mired in the Championship relegation zone.

“I think after that game a lot of people wrote us off,” he said. “We showed character. It was important not to let our heads drop, because that wasn't a good game or a good performance but ever since then we've stuck together, got the wins, and played well.

“There is still a massive job to do - we're under no illusions we need to keep putting in performances and doing what we have been. That means taking nothing less than three points against Sheffield Wednesday.

“The international break never comes at a good time but the way we were going it was definitely a bad time for us. We were on a roll and just wanted to continue playing so everyone is looking forward to get back into matches.”

Croft admits the pressure to perform will be intense over the final run-in.

“Of course there is pressure,” he said. “But you can't let it affect you too much. Obviously it's massive and a lot is at stake but you need to go into games confident. The way we're playing at the moment and the results we've had means we expect to win games, which is a great position to be in. Being in the situation we're in is not nice and it does affect you but we're the only people who can't feel sorry for ourselves and the only ones who can do anything about it.”

Croft has put his own contract talks on hold until City's fate has been sealed - but the Wigan-born forward admits he is in the best form of his Canary career.

“I've enjoyed my football this year on a personal level, apart from obviously the fact we've been down near the bottom for a lot of it,” he said. “I think you enjoy it when you play well. I'm settled here now, I love playing here and if you work hard at your game then you make your own luck. I've scored five goals which is my best tally and I could have had a few more because I've missed a few as well. I hope I can add some more before the end of the season.”


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