Norwich undeterred by threat of Leeds spies, says Christoph Zimmermann

Occupying the top two places in the Championship, there’s just three points between Leeds and Norwich ahead of their crucial meeting next weekend

Matt Murphy
Sunday 27 January 2019 17:14
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Christoph Zimmermann in action for Norwich against Birmingham in January
Christoph Zimmermann in action for Norwich against Birmingham in January

Norwich are not scared by the possibility that Leeds could spy on their training sessions over the coming week, claims defender Christoph Zimmermann.

Occupying the top two places in the Championship, there’s just three points between the sides ahead of their meeting next weekend, making it a landmark fixture in their relentless fight for promotion.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa had previously admitted in a revealing press conference that the club had spied on every one of their opponents this season.

But even if there were scouts dispatched to Norwich’s Colney training facilities to watch their preparations ahead of the weekend, Zimmermann said there would be nothing to worry about.

“I mean, I think everyone has heard about that story, but we are not really afraid of anything,” claimed the centre-back, “and certainly not someone spying on a training session. You see that teams analyse the other teams, that’s also what we’re doing. Probably not spying, but the way they play in recent weeks.”

United are yet to receive an official response from the EFL over the ‘spygate’ scandal, which came to light when Derby County spotted a Leeds staff member watching them train from some nearby bushes. Eleven teams have since tabled a complaint over the affair, with some suggesting Leeds should even face a points deduction.

“We’ll be prepared for them,” Zimmermann added, “And I’m sure they’ll also do their homework and will be prepared for us. And then it’s just about us and what we’re doing on the pitch and which side performs better.”

Speaking after Saturday’s draw with Sheffield United, the Norwich centre-back admitted his pride at being involved in such high-calibre encounters since arriving in 2017. Zimmermann was named man of the match at the weekend, and has now captained Daniel Farke’s side for the last two games, though he claims this is mostly down to a build-up of injuries.

“I think it’s even more than I expected to be honest, because I didn’t expect to get those many minutes on the pitch, and also the way the last season and the start of this season went we shouldn’t or couldn’t expect that we would be in the position that we are at the moment.

“It’s great that we are where we are and that we have the opportunity to be part of those big games. But yeah, on the one hand we appreciate that. We also feel the responsibility and more or less the duty to do well.

Norwich are having an impressive campaign 

Norwich stooped to a 3-0 defeat last time against Leeds when they met at Carrow Road back in August. But Zimmermann believes as City are in a better position now, that they’ll have a far more confident approach going in the reverse fixture.

“We do, definitely”, he said, when asked if there was a point to prove. “That’s one good reason, because they’ve shown us our limit in the first game, but certainly I think we’ve improved from that stage. And more importantly than that it’s about another three points. More important than some kind of revenge is just that it’s just an important game, and it’s another important three points."

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