Roeder out to reconstruct Norwich fortress

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The Independent Football

The new Norwich City manager, Glenn Roeder, insists he is ready for the challenge of steering his charges away from the Championship drop zone.

Roeder was confirmed as the successor to Peter Grant at Carrow Road yesterday morning and takes charge of a side three points adrift at the bottom of the table. The Norfolk club have won twice in 13 league games this season, losing their last four matches, and face the biggest game of the campaign to date when derby rivals Ipswich come to Carrow Road on Sunday.

Roeder said: "I like a challenge and I am ready for it. I've been in this sort of position before and always managed to turn it around.

"As a person I like to sail close to the wind and that's what this club is doing. There are a lot of games to play but what we've got to do is stop losing and start picking up points. If you're not careful, the games can begin to run out and you don't want to be in that kind of position too late in the season."

Roeder has been out of management since leaving Newcastle in May, but had no hesitation in applying for the vacancy. "It's a fantastic club," he said. "Any club with these facilities, a wonderful stadium and training ground and which attracts 24,000 fans for their last home game against Bristol City, when the team has had a really poor start to the season, is a club worth managing.

"Things aren't right at the moment, but it's an opportunity and when the job became available I put a phone call in straight away to see if I could get an interview." Roeder, who added that he still hoped to have an assistant manager in place before Sunday, believes that his first challenge is to improve the club's home form. The Canaries have scored only five goals in six home games this season. He said: "We need to make Carrow Road a place where teams are fearful to come to, because that is not the case at the moment.

"Things can change very quickly in football and it's important that myself, the current playing staff and any new players I bring in get back to winning in front of the fantastic fans here."

At Portsmouth, Harry Redknapp believes he can challenge Sir Alex Ferguson for the title of the Premier League's "godfather". The South Coast club's manager, 60, has just signed a new contract to stay at Fratton Park until 2011. "Why should I call it a day?" he asked. "I love being manager here. So does Fergie at United and he'll stay there as long as he wants because they always win."

Redknapp's deal is said to be worth around £6m, including incentives, but there is little doubt he does the job for the love of it. He added: "Management is definitely harder than it was 10 years ago. Everybody is watching you, everybody is a judge. I don't like these silly phone-in programmes. People come on who don't know what the hell they are talking about and say things like, 'Sack the manager because the team played crap'.

"My late dad, like me, lived for football and he knew a lot about it, too. But he would no more ring up a phone-in show and tell some silly drip what he thought than fly in the air."

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