Turner targets more clean sheets

  • Last Updated: March 15 2013, 16:58 GMT

Michael Turner believes Norwich's next three games are crucial in their bid to stay clear of the Premier League relegation scrap.

Michael Turner: Expects tough game at Sunderland

Norwich have just one away win this season, but have recorded an impressive nine clean sheets from 29 Premier League matches to sit 14th in the table, three points clear of Saturday's opponents Sunderland and nine away from the relegation zone.

Securing safety is the priority for the Canaries.

"There's going to be twists and turns between now and the end of the season," Turner said. "We play Sunderland, who are below us, and then we play Wigan, who are in the bottom three at the moment.

"We've got big games coming up and I'm sure if we can get through those games in a decent position then we'll be confident."

Turner, who made 77 appearances in three years for the Black Cats before moving to Carrow Road last summer, has combined impressively with Sebastien Bassong in the centre of defence.

The 29-year-old is keen to enhance the Canaries' miserly streak.

"We've been pleased with the amount of clean sheets we've kept," he said.

"That's something we're proud of. If we can keep a few more between now and the end of the season it will put us in a good position.

"Bass (Bassong) has been brilliant this year for us. An experienced player in this league, he's a good defender and it's been nice to play alongside him and keep as many clean sheets as we have done.

"It's obviously a team effort keeping a clean sheet, but it's very pleasing from a back four point of view to keep that many."

Five clubs are on 33 points - Norwich the lowest of the quintet due to a poor goalscoring record - with former Canaries boss Martin O'Neill's Sunderland on 30.

A point would consolidate Norwich's position.

"It's an important game for both clubs and we'll be fully focused going into it," Turner added.

"It would be nice to keep that cushion after the game.

"All that group on 33 (points) will be looking to pick up points and keep that gap between them and the bottom three.

"That will be the goal for all the teams on 33. We're no different. We want to keep that gap between us and them.

"It's an important game for us. Hopefully you won't need 40 and hopefully we'll be all right."

Turner acknowledges that Sunderland, who lost 2-1 at Carrow Road in December, will believe the Norwich match is the one to end their six-match winless streak ahead of matches with Manchester United, Chelsea and Newcastle to follow.

"We know it's going to be a tough game - they'll be looking at it as a game that they can win," Turner added.

"They've got a couple of tough games after us, so I'm sure they'll be looking at this one to put three points on the board.

"When I was a Sunderland player, I always knew playing at home was where we wanted to pick up points."

To secure a second away win of the season, Norwich must score - something they have managed only two goals in their last nine games.

"We go into every away game looking to win the game," Turner said.

"It's disappointing we've only won one, but I'm sure that if we keep conducting ourselves as we have been then another one is hopefully just round the corner.

"We could do with a few more goals from all over the pitch. We're working hard to put that right."

Norwich are without forward Anthony Pilkington for two to three weeks with a hamstring injury, but midfielder Alex Tettey (knee) is expected to return following the international break at Wigan on March 30.

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