English League 2

Tisdale salutes grafting Grecians

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Wed, 13 Mar 2013 12:11:00

Werder Bremen could be forced to lower the wage bill once again in the summer as they prepare to announce losses for the financial year.

The club's accounting position will be confirmed soon, but 2012 has been a second consecutive year of losses, according to the club's managing director Klaus Fibry.

"We are not going to post positive results this year either," he said to the Bild newspaper. "But the losses are not going to be as high as last year."

A loss of 13.9 million euros was made in 2011, due in part to the club's failure to qualify for European competition.

They are looking likely to miss out on European football for a third straight season, and after losing the likes of Claudio Pizzaro, Naldo and Tim Wiese last summer, it looks increasing likely that players such as Marko Arnautovic will leave in the summer.

"The board and the management agree that we have got to continue our course of consolidation in the coming season," said chairman Willi Lemke.

Arnautovic still has over a year left to run on his contract and Bremen turned down a bid, reportedly to have been in the region of eight million euros, for the Austrian striker in January.

A follow-up offer in the summer may tempt the club to sell since that is the amount of money they are expecting to have lost over the course of 2012.

Following Saturday's goalless home draw against Southampton - where captain Grant Holt saw a stoppage-time penalty saved - the Canaries are nine points clear of trouble heading into the final nine games.

However, Bunn insists there is a bit more hard work ahead before anyone at Carrow Road can start talking about a third season in the Premier League.

"We don't see ourselves as safe. I think we need a couple more wins and then we will be okay," said Bunn, who is hoping to retain his place in the side when England goalkeeper John Ruddy is back in contention later this month after recovery from his long injury lay-off following thigh surgery.

"We have got some crucial games coming up.

"Sunderland is a winnable game so hopefully we can look forward to that and get the three points, then against Wigan too.

"They are games against teams around us, so our main aim is not to lose those games, try to take a point away from home and win our home games.

"If we do that then we will be all right."

Norwich boss Chris Hughton is also not about to lose focus over the run-in.

"You are never close enough to survival until it is impossible," he said,"

"It is certainly going to be tense in these final nine games for everyone involved."

After Norwich head to Sunderland for Sunday's live match, Hughton will see a large proportion of his squad head off on international duty.

Defender Sebastien Bassong is set to play for Cameroon, while on-loan forward Kei Kamara will head off with Sierra Leone and Simeon Jackson continues to feature for Canada despite his limited playing time for Norwich this season.

Closer to home, defender Russell Martin and winger Robert Snodgrass have both been called up into the Scotland squad by Gordon Strachan for the World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Serbia.

The Grecians dominated throughout and created the better chances in an entertaining game, but for all their endeavour they could not find a way past Gills goalkeeper Stuart Nelson.

Jamie Cureton missed three great chances for City, who lie four points off the automatic promotion places.

And Tisdale felt the gap could have been two points less. He said: "It was a very good performance and we gave it a really good go and I think we shaded the game.

"I think the players feel as though we deserved more. We've kept a clean sheet and took the league leaders right to the end of the game.

"We have had another player carried off (Matt Oakley) and we are being stretched to the limit with the squad again.

"We played really well and the players were not just committed, they really tried to do some good things and I would have backed Jamie Cureton to have made the goalkeeper work for at least one or two of the chances he had.

"We certainly played our game and I find it very hard to criticise the players because they gave it a really good go."

On the injury to Oakley, Tisdale added: "It looks a bad one. He has dislocated his shoulder and he is on his way to hospital to have it put back in.

"Losing him was a big blow for us, it stopped us in our tracks, but we continued to try and win and finished the game strongly."

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