Sunday 22 April 2018

Matt Jarvis eyes 'massive' clash with Sunderland

Norwich and Matt Jarvis are battling the drop
Norwich and Matt Jarvis are battling the drop

Norwich winger Matt Jarvis knows Premier League survival could hinge on next Saturday's clash with Sunderland.

Sunderland are 18th, four points behind 17th-placed Norwich, following Sunday's 2-0 loss at home to Leicester.

Crucially the Black Cats have a game in hand on the Canaries, who lost 1-0 at Crystal Palace on Saturday and are seeking back-to-back home wins over north east sides after the 3-2 victory over Newcastle on April 2.

"Each game gets bigger and bigger, so it's massive," Jarvis said on

"That's what happens at this time of the year. Being at home, we know if we're able to get the win it would give us a big jump.

"We really wanted to take something from (Palace) but have to ensure our home form continues.

"That starts with getting a good result on Saturday."

Jarvis felt he should have had a first-half penalty following a challenge by Damien Delaney, but referee Michael Oliver decided otherwise.

And Jason Puncheon's strike settled a drab contest in Palace's favour.

"We're really disappointed as we felt we deserved at least a point," Jarvis added.

"There weren't many chances in the game and I think a 0-0 draw would have been a fair result. The goal was a great finish but generally we defended well.

"Over the past few weeks we've shown how well we can defend, as well as attack.

"We created numerous opportunities but they just didn't fall our way.

"We got into the right positions but couldn't test the goalkeeper enough.

"Ultimately we've paid the price for that so we need to make sure we bounce back next week."

Puncheon was praised by Palace boss Alan Pardew after his first goal of the season.

The win was the Eagles' first of 2016 and all but ensured survival after moving 10 points clear of Sunderland, who occupy the final place in the drop zone.

And Puncheon reckons Palace could yet surpass their points tally of last term, when 48 points saw them finish 10th, while they are also in a FA Cup semi-final with Watford.

The midfielder told Palace TV: "I still believe in this team. We've still got a chance - although people might not believe it - to better what we did last season.

"It was good to score and the main thing for us was to get the three points and stop that rot.

"I could sense that we would get a goal, whether it would be a little scrappy goal or something. We showed great character and belief."

Wilfried Zaha was influential when he came on and Puncheon felt Mile Jedinak did some crucial, understated work.

Puncheon added: "Wilf's a crowd favourite and he changed the game when he came on, we were on the front foot.

"I thought the skipper was brilliant. He led by example and that was the characteristic we needed, breaking up things and being sound."

Press Association

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