Andrew Surman backs former club Norwich City to survive Premier League fight

09:10 19 January 2016

Andrew Surman tries to shield Nathan Redmond at Bournemouth
 on Saturday. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Andrew Surman tries to shield Nathan Redmond at Bournemouth on Saturday. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

©Focus Images Limited +447814 482222

The evidence on Saturday was not great, but former Norwich City star Andrew Surman would still back his old club to survive their Premier League return.

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You can read Michael Bailey’s weekly Norwich City column by buying an E-edition of Friday’s Eastern Daily Press – here

What’s more, you also get Iwan Roberts’ weekly thoughts in the same edition of the paper – so two Canary columns for the price of one.

While the Canaries put Surman’s current side Bournemouth to the sword with a 3-1 win in September, the Cherries ran out convincing 3-1 victors at the weekend, in the return fixture at Dean Court.

And the 29-year-old midfielder, who completed a permanent switch from Carrow Road in the summer of 2014, believes more top-flight reunions will be on the cards next season.

Surman said: “I think they will be OK. When we played them earlier in the season, when it was a similar team with similar players, they were good on the day. So I don’t think they have anything to worry about.

“They’ve got enough strength in depth, they’ve got a lot of players and there is still a bit of time in the January transfer window as well. So you never know who they are going to bring in.

“I think they’ve probably got too much quality to go down. But then you never know in the Premier League, do you?”

Having played a significant part in taking City to Championship promotion under Paul Lambert in 2011, Surman helped the Canaries survive their Premier League return campaign with room to spare.

This time, in a deeper midfield role, he is hoping to repeat the trick with Bournemouth – but doesn’t believe the task is any harder than four years ago.

“I don’t know if it’s tougher than it was in 2012,” said Surman. “It’s been a strange league this season because usually you say the top six are unbeatable, but anyone really can beat anyone this year.

“So you might win a game you don’t expect to and then you get beaten in a game you don’t expect to lose. But we’re just taking it each game as it comes. We knew it was a big game against Norwich and thankfully we got three points.”

That boost from beating City – along with a productive transfer window so far including the signings of ex-Norwich striker Lewis Grabban and former City target Benik Afobe – will do the Cherries the world of good in their own prospects for the rest of this term.

“I do enjoy the transfer window,” added Surman. “I think sometimes the danger in the transfer window is you bring in players who upset the rhythm of the club, whereas I don’t think we’ve done that.

“Grabbs knows us well. Juan (Iturbe) struggles with English but looks like a good edition and Benik has scored and he’s a lovely lad. I think the main thing is you’ve got to keep that dynamic in the squad, and I think we’ve done that.”

Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey

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