Norwich City: 4 Ways the Canaries Should Use Their Weekend off
With Norwich City having been unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup by Luton Town last month, the Canaries now face a weekend off whilst the rest of the country is hooked by cup fever.
With City currently enduring an alarming slump and scoring less than a geek in a night club, to use the old adage the break may well be a "blessing in disguise" as Norwich try to put the brakes on their slide down the table.
Despite evidently struggling for form, there is no need to panic just yet with Chris Hughton's side having banked 29 precious points to date and still holding a six-point cushion over the bottom three.
As winter continues to tighten it's grip on the UK, City have taken the opportunity to get some warm training under their belts in beautiful Abu Dhabi in a bid to prepare themselves for the business end of the Premier League season (via EDP24.co.uk).
The trip won't be all about sight-seeing and sun-bathing, however, so here are four things that the Canaries need to work on during their stay in the Middle East to ensure that they are ready to fight for their Premier League lives.
Recharge the Batteries
Whatever you say about the Canaries' current predicament, it has to be noted that Chris Hughton's men have suffered at the hands of the fixture list, and therefore continuing to pick up points was always going to be a difficult ask.
Trying to compete against such quality can inevitably sap the energy, especially when you consider that many of the above matches took place during the congested Christmas programme, and this rest may be what's needed to restore some energy into both body and mind.
It cannot be stressed enough just how important these closing weeks of the season will prove for Norwich City, and returning to action refreshed could be the difference between survival and failure.
Get to Know the New Signings
For the new January arrivals, the two-week break has come at the perfect time; with both Luciano Becchio and Kei Kamara having been thrown straight into action without even having a chance to catch their breath!
In Kamara's case, the Sierra Leone International only arrived in the country on Wednesday of last week but was then summoned to contribute from the bench against Fulham whilst Becchio started the fixture in the absence of Grant Holt.
The trip to Dubai could be used as a mini preseason and will give the new signings a perfect chance to get to know their team-mates and visa-versa.
Under the previous managerial routine, Paul Lambert always tried to get his business done early in the transfer window in order to allow the new faces time to bed in, and there's no doubt that this was pivotal in establishing the Canaries' wonderful team spirit.
With time to kill after training, Becchio, Kamara and Lee Camp will be able to socialise with their fellow squad members in a confined space and successfully integrating themselves into the group should allow for happiness both on and off the pitch during their time in Norfolk.
Work on Their Creativity
As suggested earlier, Norwich City have definitely had some tough fixtures of late, but it is hard to defend a goal return of just one in six games; regardless of the opposition.
In truth, the Canaries have looked devoid of any real attacking spark of late, and it's obvious that there needs to be some serious work done on the training ground to address the issue.
Liverpool debacle aside, Hughton's outfit have been generally hard to break down throughout this spell (which is, of course, a positive), but, simply put, you cannot win games if you don't score goals, and Norwich need to work out a formula to stop the rot quickly.
As I have said in previous articles, I don't believe that the blame should be should be solely directed at the strikers as the service that they have received recently has been minimal at best.
Norwich have players capable of creating chances, and now Chris Hughton has time to try and work out the best way for his side to show their attacking teeth in the final stretch of the campaign.
Understand the Importance of Staying in the Premier League
Premier League football really is life-changing.
Many of the Canaries current squad have spent the majority of their careers plying their trade in the lower leagues of the English game, and now that they have reached the top; it would be such a shame to throw it all away.
Norwich may not be on the best run of form of late, but their destiny is still very much in their own hands, and the players must get together and vow to do everything within their power to ensure that they are still a Premier League club this time next year.
Staying in the top flight is more important than ever this season, the implementation of the new £3 billion TV deal really brings that fact into sharp focus, and if City play it right; they should have enough to finish the job.
However, if they lose belief or become complacent, there are plenty of teams below them that you can be assured will be absolutely fighting for their lives, and that current six-point cushion over the bottom three could easily be closed before the campaign is out.
Both the management staff and the players have a duty to fully grasp how vital staying clear of the drop-zone is for the development of the football club, and this mini-break is the perfect opportunity to sit back and take stock of where Norwich City would like to be in the future.
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