Midfielder eager to get on the goal trail
Oliver Norwood hopes that Reading’s coming games will see them intertwine their defensive solidarity with an increased goal threat, starting at Fulham tomorrow.
Since the arrival of Steve Clarke as manager, the Royals have only conceded four goals in five matches and have kept back-to-back clean sheets in their last two games, against Huddersfield and Middlesbrough.
Norwood has started all five of those clashes and he is eager for his side to complement their recent shut outs with some additional threat at the top end of the pitch.
“We look a lot more solid, we haven’t conceded many goals but want to do a lot more going the other way,” he said.
“It terms of creating chances, we haven’t created that much but it’s something that we’ve been working on. We’ve got the defensive side at the moment and hopefully now we can start to go up the other end of the pitch, start creating more opportunities and score more goals.
“The manager has spoken about what he expects from midfield players and we felt that teams were having it a bit too easy to play through the lines. It’s a lot more difficult for them now.
“He wants and we want to be able to pass the ball more and have that belief among the players, because we have got good players in the dressing room that can handle the ball well.”
Since arriving from Huddersfield Town in August, Norwood has started 21 games in a Reading shirt. He has rattled the frame of the goal on numerous occasions within those clashes, but has yet to find the net.
And that is something that the Burnley-born midfielder is determined to change.
“It’s frustrating,” he said. “Obviously I’ve hit the bar, the post and have forced a couple of good saves from goalkeepers but, as I said when I came here, I want to score and create goals.
“It’s something I’m working on on training ground. I’m doing extra work to try and get into better positions to score goals and hopefully it will come sooner rather than later.
“Ultimately it doesn’t really matter who scores the goals as long as we win the game. That’s what the strikers are primarily there for but it would be nice to chip in with two or three myself.”
Norwood has formed a strong partnership in the centre of midfield with Danny Williams, and he is enjoying playing alongside the combative American.
Norwood said: “Danny is a very good player; very athletic and dominant in the way that he gets about the opposition. When he gets the ball, he drives us up the pitch. Our styles complement each other quite well and I think we have struck up quite a good relationship.
“As a midfield player you’ve got to win your tackles, headers and get as tight to your opposition as you can. The rest of it takes care of itself.
“Everyone enjoys a good 50/50 and in the early stages of any Championship game you’ve got to be prepared to put your foot in or people will walk all over you.
“We need to add a bit more creativity and contribute a couple of goals between us, and hopefully we can do that sooner rather than later.”