Midfielder enjoying deeper role
Town midfielder Oliver Norwood told htafc.com that their performances in the past two games have given the players a ‘new lease of life’ ahead of Saturday’s npower Championship match against Derby County.
The Northern Ireland international praised Mark Lillis and Steve Eyre for the impact they have had during their short spell in charge of the first team.
“We’ve had two decent results in the last couple of games and that’s down to the management,” Norwood said.
“At the minute it seems like everybody has a new lease of life, a new belief, a new freedom of confidence."
Not only have performances improved on the pitch, Norwood believes the atmosphere around the training ground has also improved.
“Steve (Eyre) has done a lot of work on the tactics side and it has worked a treat in these last two games; he has been a different class since he came in.
“Mark’s (Lillis) enthusiasm around the place is great. He puts his arm around you and talks you through games - it lightens the mood and gives people a laugh.
“He sees us like his family and wants us to do well. That arm around you at times can do you the world of good.
“We’re doing our best to help Mark and Steve at the minute and they are doing their best to help us too.”
Town’s victory on Wednesday night against Crystal Palace was their first league win for 13 games and Norwood has recognised a change in atmosphere amongst the squad in the past week.
“The belief in the players is that we’re good enough to be in this division. We deserve to be here,” the 21 year-old said.
“Everyone is relaxed and appears to be enjoying their football again.
“We’ve done a lot more work on the opposition and how to stop them.
“The way Steve put the plan together the other night to stop the two wingers. That’s all down to the tactics that were put into place and I think it worked really well.
“We’ve shown a lot of quality on the ball recently, but the stuff off the ball has been just as good.
“There hasn’t been much talk about a new manager because we’re all enjoying our time under Mark and Steve,” he added.
Norwood also recognises that his own performances on the pitch have improved recently.
“The little change in formation that we’ve done has really helped me. I’m getting a lot more of the ball now and I’m enjoying it,” he said.
“I was as disappointed as everybody that I couldn’t find my form, but I think the little tweaks have made me find my feet again and I believe I am a close to performing like I was at the start of the season.
“I’ve really enjoyed my football in the last couple of games and I’ve got a smile back on my face.”
Norwood regularly played against sides managed by Steve Eyre as a youngster and is enjoying his time with the former-Manchester City coach.
“I’ve known Steve since I was about six or seven and we’ve always kept in touch,” Norwood said.
“I never really liked playing against his teams as they always used to get one over on us, but it’s nice to be on his side now. “
Norwood also stated that he is looking forward to playing against Derby County at Pride Park this weekend.
“It feels like a massive weight has been lifted with those three points the other night.
“If we can get another three points against Derby, it moves us closer to where we want to be. The players feel happier with how things are going at the minute and long may it continue.
“I’ve played one, won one against Derby so far, so hopefully I can improve on that this weekend.”
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