Fozzy's quality can see City's centre fizz
CHRIS LAKEY Mark Fotheringham will be told to spend the summer shaking off the cobwebs accumulated from two years of playing his football in Europe. The Canaries midfielder came to life in the second half at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday when he was switched to a central midfield role - and manager Peter Grant admits the 23-year-old is still getting used to life in the Championship.
Mark Fotheringham will be told to spend the summer shaking off the cobwebs accumulated from two years of playing his football in Europe.
The Canaries midfielder came to life in the second half at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday when he was switched to a central midfield role - and manager Peter Grant admits the 23-year-old is still getting used to life in the Championship.
Fotheringham left Dundee for SC Freiburg in Switzerland in 2005 and spent a season there before a six-month spell in the Swiss league with FC Aarau came to an end with a move to Carrow Road.
But Grant believes Fotheringham has picked up some bad habits, simply because the pace of the game is so different.
“It has been difficult for Fozzy because he has played in Germany and he has played in Switzerland, so he's trying to get used to the pace of the game,” Grant said.
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“After Preston a few months back I left him out after that because Safri and Etuhu were playing exceptionally well, and ever since he has come back I have had to play him on the right or the left, because of injuries.
“So he gets a run in the centre of the pitch and there is no doubt he has got the quality. Now he has got to get up to the speed of the game, and the speed of the game in Germany and Switzerland - there is hardly any tackling going on.
“Getting close to somebody means he's 20 yards away. And Fozzy has still got that in his make-up.”
Getting up to speed will be on Fotheringham's work sheet, but he won't be alone.
“We know we have got a lot of work to do through the summer time, we have a lot of work to do in pre-season,” said Grant. “I have said that to the boys - effort wise I can't fault them, but understanding and lack of quality has let us down at times and hopefully I can bring players in to help them.
“There is no doubt that is what I am desperate to do, to bring players in to help the group of players I have here because we have players of quality.”
Grant says all players, including those who have been sent out on loan or have been on the fringes of the first team, will start the season with a clean slate.
“Come August 11 the best guys who have trained properly and are 100pc fit will be kicking off for Norwich City,” he said. “That is the aim now. Summer is not for resting, summer is for coming back here prepared and knowing what the challenge is for us all.
They come back like everybody else - it is up to them now.”
Ryan Jarvis is one of those who will be pushing for a bigger role under Grant, following his three-month stint with League Two side Leyton Orient.
“To be fair to Ryan Jarvis, before I put him out on loan it was the best he had trained and the bets he had prepared in the weeks prior to it,” said Grant. “It was difficult because there were no games for him - in reserve team games he never had that buzz, that sharpness, but in his training he was excellent.
“I just felt he went so long without games and he started like a house on fire at Orient. People were clamouring for me to bring him back and I was thinking no, he needs games of football because he hadn't 90 minutes for three years, so all of a sudden he has that.
“Now he comes back here and it up to him to go and move the boys in the so called first team.”
The same applies to those who have fallen by the wayside and now sit on the fringes of the first team - the likes of goalkeeper Paul Gallacher and defender Jurgen Colin.
“They are under contract, put it that way, and it is like everything else, they are here as Norwich City players, it is up to them to grab it,” said Grant. “May it be the best man plays - come August 11 it is going to be a team that deserves to be playing, not individuals. Individuals win you games, teams win you trophies, teams win you championships, team get you back in the Premier League. That's what concerns me, the team not individuals.
“Gallacher has been different - his attitude to everything has been magnificent. I have made decision, hard decisions - more so because he has been a fantastic professional.”