April 16 2014 Latest news:
By David Cuffley
Thursday, August 9, 2012
New signing Michael Turner is hoping to boost Norwich City’s goal tally from defence when the new Premier League campaign kicks off.
Defenders contributed just four of the Canaries’ 52 top-flight goals last season with Russell Martin scoring twice and Ritchie de Laet and Leon Barnett grabbing one each, compared with 11 goals from the back four in the Championship a year earlier.
And while Turner’s primary concern will be helping to tighten the City rearguard, his 6ft 4in frame clearly makes him a dangerous opponent at free-kicks and corners.
“I definitely feel I’m a threat from set pieces,” he said. “In my first season in the Premier League I scored five goals for Hull so I’m sure if I play regularly, with the quality that will come into the box from people like Robert Snodgrass and Anthony Pilkington, I can get goals.”
Centre-half Turner already knows how it feels to find the net at Norwich after scoring a stoppage-time equaliser for Hull in a Championship match in 2006.
“I think it was my first game there. It was a 1-1 draw and I scored very late and that’s my one good memory of playing at Carrow Road,” he said.
Turner’s aerial threat could be a useful weapon in a City side that has been short of goals in their pre-season programme.
Tuesday’s goalless draw against his former club, Hull City, means Chris Hughton’s men have not scored for 263 minutes in their warm-up games, but at least they have been hard to break down at the other end of the field, keeping four clean sheets in five domestic friendlies.
“I think as a team, the way we defended tonight was very solid,” said Turner, after the game at the KC Stadium.
“It’s where you start from because if you’re keeping clean sheets you know you’re always going to get something from a game. We’ll need to take the good work we’ve been doing into the league campaign when it kicks off next week.
“We limited them to very few chances and on the offensive side, we created a few chances and got in a few good positions. Probably one final ball would have given us goalscoring opportunities, but I think generally we’re pleased with the shape of the team.”
Turner, who signed from Sunderland a fortnight ago, partnered Ryan Bennett at centre-half at Hull, after playing alongside Barnett in Friday’s 0-0 draw at MK Dons.
“Ryan is excellent, a very good young player who will have a good future in the game,” he said. “And I played with Leon the other night, likewise a very good player. We’re all fighting for places and I just want to be in that starting team against Fulham.”
As City prepare for their last friendly against Borussia Mönchengladbach at Carrow Road on Saturday, Turner insists he will be match fit and ready for the trip to Craven Cottage a week later.
He said: “I’ve played 60 to 65 minutes in both games so far and I felt stronger in the second half than I did the other night. It’s all minutes under my belt and I hope I’ll get some more on Saturday and be ready for the first game.”
Turner took time to recover from a pre-season trip to the Far East with Sunderland, followed by a hectic few days with the move to Norwich at the end of last month.
“I’m not far away now in terms of fitness. It did take it out of me going to Korea and then coming back and coming straight to Norwich, and taking a few days for the deal to be done, so I’m pleased now I’m back in training and getting games and back on it,” he said.
“It’s the best way to get your fitness up, playing games of football, being out there on the pitch. I’m very pleased to have played and was feeling stronger and stronger as the game went on.”
At Tuesday’s game, Turner was briefly reacquainted with both Hull and his former Sunderland boss, Steve Bruce, now in charge of the Tigers.
He said: “I spoke to him before the game and he’s excited about what’s going on here and I wish him all the best of luck because it is a very good club and Steve Bruce is a great manager, so hopefully the two will come together.
“It was very nice coming back, in a bit of a relaxed sort of mood in a friendly. It’s great to come back to a place where you had some success and we had a good run-out tonight.”