June 19 2013 Latest news:
By Mark Armstrong
Saturday, August 18, 2012
The lure of regular first team football was important when Michael Turner considered a move to Norwich City but it had an added bonus.
The 28-year-old enjoys the rugged side of his defensive duties but admitted to being rather pleased at not having to face Grant Holt in a competitive environment in the forthcoming season.
Turner was part of the Sunderland side that beat the Canaries 3-0 at the Stadium of Light last season but it was his battle with the Canaries’ skipper rather than the result that left a lasting impression.
“I played against him last year and he can be horrible on the pitch – he leaves his elbow in,” joked Turner, who looks set to start at Fulham today alongside youngster Ryan Bennett. “He’s a handful, that’s for sure and he obviously scores goals.
“It’s obviously vital you have someone in your team who can score goals and can win you games of football. We are hoping he can chip with the same type of goals again, as can other players.
“But that’s one of the reasons I came here, so I wouldn’t get another black eye!”
Jokes aside, Turner is looking for a top-flight rebirth with the Canaries. His £4m move from Hull to Sunderland didn’t provide him with the platform he expected having been a key part of the Tigers’ Premier League survival in 2009.
But having put his injury problems behind him he hopes the prospect of first team football can see him return to the heights that saw him mentioned as a possible England international.
“I was a bit unlucky at Sunderland with injury and a few suspensions in my first couple of years,” he said. “That was a little bit frustrating – I still feel that I’ve got a lot to offer in the Premier League.
“The move just suits both parties. Hopefully I can be a regular here – I just want to play games at a great club like Norwich. They have got fantastic facilities and a new manager coming in, who I think can improve me as a player.”
Turner comes into a Norwich squad buoyed by their achievements last season in securing a 12-placed finish. The defender is aware such a feat will be difficult to replicate but hopes sticking to the same principles of the last three seasons will stand them in good stead.
“The second season in the Premier League is going to be a new experience for everyone,” he said. “We know that if we perform to the level that we did last year then I’m sure we can do more than fine.
“It’s going to be a tough year. Every game in this league is hard and I think if everyone sticks together through the good and the bad results then you will be all right.
“I think we need to get off to a good start and go from there. We just need to get off to a good start and go from there. I wouldn’t really like to set a target of where we want to finish. It’s all about picking up as many points as we can.”
City’s top-flight task begins today at Fulham and Turner believes it would be a big confident boost for the squad if the Canaries can come away from Craven Cottage with at least a point.
“Fulham are very established in the Premier League and they’ve got some great individual players,” he added. “There’s talk of some of their players going on to big clubs.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game and we’re going to have to play well to get something. It would be nice to get the first point – it’s always nice to get something on the board in the first game. It gives you something to build on and that’s what we’re focusing on.”
The Canaries are reportedly closing in on the signing of Blackburn’s Swedish international Martin Olsson.