December 13 2013 Latest news:
Paddy Davitt, Norwich City Writer
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Michael Turner’s broad smile belied any hint at diplomacy ahead of his competitive return to Hull City.
The 29-year-old readily attributes his successful stint at the Tigers as a major factor in his own Premier League longevity, first with Sunderland, who he joined for £4m after an eye-catching spell on Humberside, and now the Canaries. Hull retain a special place in his affections, but questions over divided loyalties were met with an unequivocal response.
“It would be nice to get a good reception but I am there to help Norwich win the game. That is the only job I am focused on and I want the three points. Most definitely,” he said. “It’s very exciting to go back. It is a massive occasion for them being their first home game back in the Premier League. I had three great years there and I’m looking forward to it. I keep an eye out for Hull’s results and I was delighted they got promoted. It is a place that holds a lot of fond memories for me. I was looking out for the two fixtures and luckily one has come up very early on.
“You get familiar with your surroundings when you have been somewhere for that period of time and there are still a couple of lads left and the manager of course signed me at Sunderland so there are a few links. I had a good relationship with the fans and I will be glad to see some old faces but we are going there on the back of a good result against Everton and we want to kick on.”
Turner was part of a Hull side who survived their first season back in the Premier League and the centre-back believes his old Black Cats’ boss Steve Bruce can engineer a repeat.
“He is a great manager. I felt he did a great job at Sunderland and he has shown his qualities again to get Hull into the Premier League,” said Turner. “He changed his formation last year, which I was a bit surprised about, and he brought in a lot of players over the summer. It will be interesting to see how they all fit in. I enjoyed working under him and he helped me no end. I was thankful to him for that. He gave me some good advice along the way because he was a top centre half in his day.
“It was a good time for me when I was there. I had two years in the Championship and got promoted to the Premier League and that first year was a massive learning curve for me. We were a surprise package but we had some good players who people didn’t know an awful lot about. Lads like Giovanni were on fire early on and we picked up a load of points that kept us up in the end. I played some of the best football of my career during that period with getting promotion and then staying in the league and then I got the move to Sunderland as well.”
Turner saw enough in Hull’s opening day 2-0 Premier League defeat at Chelsea to be wary of the Tigers’ threat.
“I watched the Chelsea game last week and in the first 20 minutes they were unplayable,” he said. “It took Hull a while to get into the game but they did themselves proud in the second period and they will be looking to take that into our game. I think both sides will feel this is a game you need to be picking up three points in because it’s important to build up some momentum.
“It’s hard to tell how they will do. If they get off to a good start they could be all right. I think all the clubs who have come up are no different to quite a lot of teams in that you look to get to that 40 point mark as soon as possible and go from there. They had two years in the Premier League when I was there but then when they got relegated they had to adapt. There’ll do the same now they are back in the Premier and with the money that goes with that they have to look to improve again.”
Turner knows the quest for self-improvement applies equally to the Canaries after a major summer overhaul to Chris Hughton’s squad.
“Competition is very healthy now,” he said. “There are probably two players for every position. The manager has brought in some top quality and we all know we have to fight for our place now to stay in.”