Former Norwich City midfielder Neil Emblen thinks the players’ enthusiasm will help the club build on last season as they look to establish themselves in the Premier League.

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Emblen is currently in England for the Olympics, coaching New Zealand, where he has spent the last seven years first playing for then managing Waitekere United.

He made 15 appearances in two seasons at Carrow Road between 2001 and 2003 and he is confident that the club will shrug off the loss of Paul Lambert and thrive under new boss Chris Hughton.

He said: “The players from last season are still there, that’s the good thing and they’ll be looking to build on what they achieved.

“I just think that the enthusiasm and the energy of the Norwich players got them through last season – they’ve got good players but they’re not established at that level.

“They had to use that enthusiasm every week to ensure results and they did that brilliantly and they’ll need the same again.

“Obviously Paul Lambert is a big loss, but Chris Hughton is an excellent manager with a good record and was unlucky to be dismissed by Newcastle the last time he was in the Premier League.”

Emblen followed his old club’s fortunes from afar during the Canaries’ astonishing rise from League One to the top flight in consecutive seasons.

While New Zealand are the world champions in rugby union, they are underdogs in the world of football and Emblen uses Norwich as an inspiration.

He said: “Their rise was fantastic and they’re the example that proves to me that when New Zealand plays international football that we can be as good as the opposition.

“Norwich getting into the Premier League and playing the way they did last year is a great example for coaches coaching underdog teams.”

• Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of Team GB and proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012

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1 comment

  • Emblen only started about 7 games for NCFC. His best years were two spells at Wolves. Appeared he had a "chronic knee injury" after we`d paid £500,000 for him!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 29, 2012

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