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Interviews

Todd Cantwell: Coventry are a very well organised team

16 February 2021

After missing November’s 1-1 draw at home to the Sky Blues, Todd Cantwell did feature in January’s 2-0 FA Cup third round win against Coventry City.

His impression of Mark Robins side is that they’re a well drilled, organised outfit capable of keeping the ball on the ground and playing football.

“It was a difficult game,” he said. “I remember missing the first game against Coventry at the start of the season and that looked like a very difficult game.

“They’re a very well organised team and try to play football as well. It will be an interesting game and if we bring our A game I’m hoping we should have enough to beat them, obviously.

“If we match their intensity and can kick on from our great result on Saturday, we should be in a really good place going into the game.

“It’s a patience thing as well. We can win a game in the first 20 minutes or the last two minutes. In the end, we’ve still won the game either way.

“Although for fans and probably us as well it would be nice to put some games away earlier, we have to remain patient and remember that we can win the game in the last minute.

“It will be a tough affair but we’re definitely looking forward to it.”

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Cantwell added that, despite Coventry’s league position and recent form, they garner the same level of respect as every Championship opponent having taken a point off Watford two weeks ago.

“There’s no room [for complacency] at all,” he said. “Everyone can see the results that happen and shock you in the Championship. I’d like to think that we can stay clear of that and confirm our authority over the league and what we’re trying to achieve.

“It’s no secret what we’re trying to achieve. If you look at it factually, we should definitely go there and try to win the game.

“It’s not as black and white as that and if it was I think everyone would be top of the league!

“We can’t afford to think at any point of any game that, because of position or form, it will be easy because it won’t.”

"It's nice to interact with where the fans would be, which is why I went to the camera"

Some might say that being second and doing the chasing is more comfortable than being first and having something to lose, but that’s not how Daniel Farke and his players look at it.

“Quite a few of the lads in the changing room have felt what it’s like to win a league,” Cantwell said.

“Believe me, that feeling is worth everything to try and get it again. As much as promotion is probably the goal, everyone in that changing room wants the title.

“We’re not silly. We know that we could easily slip well away from that with complacency and all of the other dangerous tools in the Championship because there are many teams that have probably had the quality and personnel to get out of the division and haven’t.

“We need to stay realistic with the fact that this is going to be a very difficult task, but if we continue to play how we played at the weekend minus a couple of the mistakes that we brought on ourselves, then we’ve shown on multiple occasions that we can put teams away and build up points again.

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“Every team looking up at us in the league table probably sees it as a real opportunity to get something off one of the best teams in the division.

“With the greatest respect, if you’re sitting mid-table, I don’t think other teams would be looking at you as a big game, time to shine and all of that.

“It’s part of the responsibility in terms of being at the top of the league but everyone really wants to relish that and push on from now to try to open back up a little bit of a gap and some breathing space.”

If Norwich can continue to thread together intricate passages of play and score goals like they did against Stoke City on the weekend, we’re in for a treat.

“That goal epitomises what we try and do,” Cantwell said, referring to his strike against the Potters. “We’re always calm and collected at the back. We’re not keeping the ball for keeping the ball’s sake and that goal shows that the best way possible.

“It started right from the back and almost looked a bit like we should have cleared the ball. We managed to work the ball up and top off a brilliant move with a good goal.

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Saturday’s game represented the first time Norwich put four past an opponent this season, the convincing win breeding more confidence for the weeks to come.

“We needed that for a couple of reasons,” Cantwell added. “It was a disappointing result at Swansea and the changing room felt that, and I’m sure most of the fans and people associated with the club felt that as well.

“Like we’ve said from day dot, the Championship’s a very, very difficult division. There are a lot of tough games to come up and by any means Stoke wasn’t an easy fixture, so to get a 4-1 victory over them hopefully brings back a bit of confidence that we can take into a very important couple of weeks.”

Asked to elaborate on his kung fu celebration, Cantwell explained that he pointed it at the Canaries TV cameras in acknowledgment to the City fans who’d have loved to be there to celebrate it with him.

“Without fans being there, fans are feeling the pain of not being there but, believe me, the players are as well,” he said. “When you score a goal, it feels so much different to how it did when there were fans in the stadium.

“It’s nice to be able to interact with where I know the fans would be, hence why I went to the camera.

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“It’s just a celebration that me and my friends have been joking about, so there’s no real depth to it, but I’m always trying to make it as entertaining for the fans who are watching on their screens at home.

“I have a couple up my sleeve, you know what I’m like, but I think the most important thing is to add some more goals and worry about the celebrations after.”


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