Norwich form leaves Tettey stumped
Published 21/03/2014 | 16:12
Alex Tettey cannot understand why Norwich have found themselves in another battle for Barclays Premier League survival as they prepare to face fellow strugglers Sunderland.
The Canaries are just four points off the drop zone following a poor run of only two wins from 15 league matches.
However, Chris Hughton's beleaguered squad are now heading into a series of games against sides around them in the table, starting with Saturday's visit of Gus Poyet's side, which could put clear daylight between themselves and the bottom three.
Hughton spent the best part of £20million over the summer to improve the squad, with the purchases of Dutch internationals Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Leroy Fer, experienced Sweden campaigner Martin Olsson and promising England Under-21 winger Nathan Redmond.
Norway midfielder Tettey accepts things have just not gone to plan.
"I agree we probably did not expect to be in this situation," said Tettey, who returned from a three-month injury lay-off at the start of the year.
"Last season we had guys who, if you compared them to the ones who came in, are not what you would describe as high-profile players, (so) I think we should do better this season if you compare the squad we have now.
"What can you say? You have to be realistic. As a group and a team we know what is going on. We know where we are.
"We have to look forward and not dwell on what happened in the past because that is gone."
Hughton felt the full ire of the Canaries' away supporters following last weekend's 4-2 capitulation at Southampton.
Tettey maintains staff and fans must stick together to start to climb the table.
"What we don't need is any negativity around us because as soon as we have that we will not think positively," he said.
"We want the people of Norfolk to be happy. We are trying to perform at our maximum, but we have to perform better than last Saturday."
Norwich are unlikely to throw fit-again defender Michael Turner straight back into action against his old club having just recovered from a hamstring injury.
On-loan Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez also played for Norwich Under-21s in midweek after his calf problem, but he is another who is not expected to be in the Canaries' match day squad.
Midfielder Fer (hamstring) remains out, while winger Elliott Bennett has this week finally returned to training following seven months of rehabilitation from a serious knee injury.
Meanwhile, Sunderland head coach Poyet has urged his players to be brave as they attempt to scrap their way out of relegation trouble.
The Norwich game is the latest in a series of six-pointers with both clubs firmly entrenched in the battle to drag themselves clear of the drop zone.
Poyet's men passed up a golden opportunity last weekend when they drew 0-0 with fellow strugglers Crystal Palace at the Stadium of Light to extend their recent run to just one win from eight league games at home.
With their final five fixtures on the road taking them to Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United, Sunderland know three points at Carrow Road could prove invaluable in what is likely to be a hugely tense conclusion to the season.
Poyet said: "Everybody is going to try the same, and the team that panics least is the one which is going to stay up.
"The ones who are not too nervous or they forget about playing and don't do what they are capable of doing, they are going to lose too many games.
"Yes, we need to be brave, brave as a team. Of course, the more brave players on the pitch, the better team you have got.
"We are in a situation where we need to believe it is possible and maintain at least the level of performances and the quantity of points we have got so far during the time I have been at the club.
"If we maintain that, we are going to be all right."
Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher will miss out through injury.
The Scotland international damaged an ankle during the first half against Palace and will sit out the game at Carrow Road as he waits to discover the extent of the damage.
However, Poyet has a near-full-strength squad from which to select with only goalkeeper Keiren Westwood (shoulder) otherwise on the casualty list.