Norris delighted to get opportunity at Roots Hall
Town stopper Will Norris was delighted to have played his part in Town’s win at Southend but disappointed he didn’t mark his league debut for Blues with a clean sheet.
The Wolves loanee looked to be on for a shut out until Emile Acquah’s consolation for the Shrimpers late on at Roots Hall.
“We knew it was going to be tough coming to a team which has just changed their manager and had been beaten so heavily in the week,” Norris said afterwards.
“They were always going to look to bounce back and make it difficult for us and I thought we handled that element of the game professionally.”
“It was tough conditions,’ the 26-year-old added. “I’m going to watch the game back with the rest of the goalkeeping department.
“I’m my own biggest critic at the end of the day, we didn’t keep a clean sheet and that’s something we’ll assess during the week and we’ll look to put right.”
The Town ‘keeper had a relatively quiet game, which he says is just the way he likes it.
“I thought it was a good professional performance from the whole team, from back to front,” he said.
“I like the quiet days, to be honest, I don’t like it when there’s too much to do, that means someone else isn’t doing their job. It was a professional display.”
Norris is fully aware how hard it is going to be to keep out Tomas Holy from the sticks who has injured a relatively successful time of things since his move from Gillingham this summer.
“I think we’ve got a really strong goalkeeping department at this football club and the manager’s got a real dilemma on a Friday when he picks the team about who to pick,” he said.
“I think that’s throughout the whole goalkeeping department with the two young lads [Adam Przybek and Harry Wright] we’ve got as well.
“From a personal point of view, I was pleased to get the first league start but very disappointed in the end not to keep a clean sheet.”
When asked when he is aware that he would be starting at Roots Hall, Norris says Lambert spoke to both him and Holy on Friday to inform them of the change: “The gaffer spoke to us individually and he named the team this morning.”
He said there were no nerves: “No, I’ve been doing this a while, it’s what I love to do, just go out and put the shirt on on a Saturday at three o’clock and it’s something that I absolutely love doing.”
Part of being a goalkeeper is prolonged periods of the bench with limited opportunity to impress, is that frustrating? “Of course it is, it’s frustrating for any player that’s not playing. But, like I say, the most important thing is supporting whoever pulls that shirt on on a Saturday.”
He added: “Everyone wants to play, everyone wants to do what they love and, yes, it is frustrating but there’s always 100 per cent support from the team that is playing.”
“The gaffer had a really honest conversation with me (when signing in the summer) and he continues to do so and I think that’s the main thing, as long as everyone’s all on the same page then you can’t really go wrong, can you?”
The target is now to keep the shirt for as long as possible: “That’s the aim. It is a privilege to play for such a big football club and such a great football club, especially with the fans they’ve got and the spot we’re in at the moment, so hopefully I can keep the jersey for as long as possible.”
He added: “It’s difficult to go in and out but that’s part of the game when you’ve got a squad that has this much quality.
“The manager can pick two XIs on a matchday and both can go out and get the job done.
“I think that as long as we’re supporting whoever pulls on the shirt on Saturday at three o’clock then that’s the main thing.”
Holy was visually pleased for Norris as the two embraced after the match, all part of the ‘keepers union says Norris.
“Of course, it’s been the same leading up to this game,” he added. “I’ll always support Tom when he plays and he’ll always support me when I play, that’s a good thing about goalkeepers, there’s good camaraderie there and whoever plays is supported 100 per cent.”
Whilst reflecting on the win against Southend, Norris says it was vital that Town returned to winning ways after poor results and performances against Accrington Stanley and Rotherham.
“It’s always important to bounce back after any defeat, especially in the manner we did with the number of changes that Southend have made, but it was a really professional performance from the boys today,” he said.”
The win resulted in Town returning to the summit of the league, something Norris wasn’t too fussed upon.
“I didn’t actually hear the Peterborough result, we’re not focused on anyone but ourselves,” Norris insisted.
“We just need to turn out good performances every Saturday, every league match and focus on ourselves and if we do that and don’t look at too many other teams, we’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the year.”
Norris, like many other Town players this season, has spoken of the strength of the squad and backs Lambert’s rotational policy.
“It’s fantastic squad depth,” Norris continued. “Nolo came on and just calmed the game down really well, especially with the way Skusey has done before he had to go off.
“It’s a real blessing to have such a good quality group and such a good group of lads, confidence-wise, and they’re supportive as well.”
He added: “We’ve got a great squad and if changes have to be made to freshen things up and make sure we’re still firing on all cylinders that’s what we’ll have to do.”