Michael Turner has hailed sidekick Sebastien Bassong as the driving force in Norwich City’s central defence.

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The City duo have played a major role in helping the Canaries’ keep nine Premier League clean sheets after Chris Hughton first paired them together for the impressive 1-0 top flight home win against Arsenal back in October.

Turner endured a bittersweet return to Sunderland at the weekend in a game where Bassong also conceded a penalty in a 1-1 draw, but both again underlined their value in a resolute defensive display with 10 men for an hour at the Stadium of Light.

“He has been brilliant this season for us – he is an experienced player in this league,” said Turner. “He’s been around a long time and he’s a good defender and it’s been nice to play alongside him and keep as many clean sheets as we have. It’s a team effort, but it’s been very pleasing from the back four’s point of view to keep as many.

“It’s something we’re proud of as a team, the amount of clean sheets we’ve kept. If we can keep a few more between now and the end of the season, then I’m sure it will put us in a good position.”

Turner insists the Canaries’ still have plenty of hard work left to achieve their ultimate goal over the run-in.

“We just want to keep as big a gap as possible to the clubs below us,” he said.

“There will be twists and turns between now and the end of the season. We have big games coming up and I’m sure if we can get through those games in a decent position we’ll be confident. This year is probably all about saying up again.

“When I first came here all people said to me was about second season syndrome and was that going to be a problem. I think we’ve proved we’ve competed more than enough and if we do stay up this year, the club will be able to invest in more quality players and put more strength into the squad and make us even better.”

Turner was a key part of the Hull side that survived by a single point in the 2008/09 Premier League season, but the 29-year-old does not have a specific target in mind for the Canaries.

“Personally, I haven’t looked at a figure. As a group of players, we just take every game and try to pick up as many points as we can,” he said.

“It’s different every year – I remember it was more than 40 points one year but I hope we won’t need 40 and it will be all right. All that group around us will be looking to pick up points and keep the big gap between them and the bottom three. We’re no different, we want to put more points on the board and keep that gap between us and the rest.”

Big-spending Sunderland appear in serious danger of being sucked into the survival scrap after failing to capitalise on City’s numerical disadvantage on Wearside. Turner is adamant his former club is not too big to drop out of the Premier League.

“No, I don’t think you can be too big a club to go down,” he said.

“If you look at teams in previous years who have gone down, you would never have thought it at the start of the season.

“When you are on a bad run it’s difficult to pick up points and every team in and around that position needs to fight hard to pick up anything.”

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21 comments

  • Usual agenda, Lobbo. Journos sequestering stuff for their own use at a later date. Don`t tell them, though - it`s "offensive".

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, March 22, 2013

  • Would the fee for Martin cover our Portugese purchase?

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    DocOhNo

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • Bassong should be the number one contender for the player of the the season. In my opinion, he is Norwich's most solid central defender since we had the likes of Steve Bruce and Dave Watson.

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    NYC-Canary

    Sunday, March 24, 2013

  • Lets hope Basso can stay fit until we reach safety. He's played a lot of games this season and has been limping in a few of the recents ones. If we stay up we need to strengthen defence with another couple of players of Basso quality.

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    Oz Canary

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • Repeatedly blocked on apropriate board, so just to say I hope we get a FEE if Chris Martin joins Derby.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • Bassong should be the number one contender for the player of the the season. In my opinion, he is Norwich's most solid central defender since we had the likes of Steve Bruce and Dave Watson.

    Report this comment

    NYC-Canary

    Sunday, March 24, 2013

  • Coo, An article i agree with. Bassong has been immense. And with Seb's help the previously named donkey has turned into a useful centre back, who has now earned his place in the starting line up.

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • andyrew, I am in total agreement with you, no argument. It takes at least two to have an argument! :-) I think Big Bass is a superb player.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • Bassong head and shoulder player of the season. When he doesn't play we have big problems.

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    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • Agree NYC on Bassong and as Oz says hope he stays fit until we are mathematically safe then give him rest he deserves...I would also add big Malky to your list of previous greats.

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    Jakarta Canary

    Sunday, March 24, 2013

  • Bassong should be the number one contender for the player of the the season. In my opinion, he is Norwich's most solid central defender since we had the likes of Steve Bruce and Dave Watson.

    Report this comment

    NYC-Canary

    Sunday, March 24, 2013

  • Ditto that Oz Canary. He has been a tremendous signing for us and has been the anchor for the defence.

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    Swiss Canary

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • Seb must be prime candidate for Player of the Season. Top player.

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    Kent Anglian

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • probably our best central defensive partnership sine the heady days of our European adventures.

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    goldeneadie

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • 11.02 Are all boards down?

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    Lobbo

    Friday, March 22, 2013

  • Agree, NYC. Snods & BJ in close pursuit.

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    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, March 24, 2013

  • Bassong for player of the year!

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    goldie

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • If I may say so.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

  • If the Euro collapses, Doc?

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, March 22, 2013

  • Stew, Brewer, Steady On..... Please feel free to have an argument; completely unrelated to this artice; below .......

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    andyrew

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

  • He has been absolutely awesome for us, my candidate for POTS.

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    Bootneck R.M.

    Friday, March 22, 2013

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