Drury: Fans can be the key
CHRIS LAKEY Canaries skipper Adam Drury has called on City fans to give Peter Grant's new-look team a fighting chance this season.
Canaries skipper Adam Drury has called on City fans to give Peter Grant's new-look team a fighting chance this season.
With the countdown to the big kick-off at Preston entering its final fortnight, Grant has yet to show his hand as far as his preferred starting line-up goes.
Two major players have departed and half a team is still being bedded in, but while the bookies predict another season of discontent at Carrow Road, Drury says the fans can help defy the odds.
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“It's the start of a new season - there's no point in getting down about it before we've even kicked a ball,” said Drury.
“What's the point? We want everybody behind us from the very start - don't write us off before a ball has been kicked.
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“The gaffer has bought a few new faces in and it will take some time for them to settle - and giving the team plenty of support will help that.”
Drury says the mood within the camp is good - enhanced by bonding sessions on the tour of Holland, which came to an end yesterday afternoon when the players flew back to Norwich.
City have taken on a more cosmopolitan look during the summer, Frenchman Julien Brellier and Czech striker David Strihavka coming in to a squad which suffered a double hammer blow when leading scorer Robert Earnshaw left, to be followed shortly afterwards by midfielder Dickson Etuhu.
While the loss of two quality players has damaged Grant's plans, Drury insists it has had little effect on the players they left behind.
“It's part of football,” he said. “Players get used to players moving on.”
And damage was quickly repaired on the Holland trip with team-bonding exercises around the games against Apeldoorn and FC Zwolle playing a major part in Grant's pre-season preparations.
“A good few players have come in during the summer and we've spent time getting to know each other,” said Drury. “We had a night out together and after our last game we went out driving jeeps on an off-road course, so it's been good fun as well as hard work.
“Everyone has taken the chance to get to know each other and we're getting on really well.
“That is a vital component because I remember the years that we have had success here and a good team spirit has been a huge part of the team ethic.
“You get on well together and you have to take that out on to the pitch together.
“There are a couple of language problems which won't take long to iron out - Julien Brellier's English is a lot better than David's, but we're helping him along and he's learning all the time and that's going to be half the battle for him.”
Having lost the opening tour match at Exeter, City followed up two big local results against Lowestoft and King's Lynn with a win and a defeat in Holland. But the standard of opposition goes up another rung next week when West Ham come to town on Tuesday, followed by Vitesse Arnhem on Friday.
“It's going to be a lot different - but it should be closer to what we will face,” said Drury. “In Holland the style of football was slower and the ball seemed to go back to the keeper as soon as anyone put pressure on them.
“But it was beneficial to stretch the legs even more and lift the pace. We have worked well on the pitch and worked well in training - we've managed to get two good sessions in a day.
“But if it's not tough in pre-season it isn't going to be of any benefit. You wan to be worked hard because you have high standards to maintain.”