Adam Drury glad to be back despite defeat to Tottenham Hotspur
It was a late call for Norwich City veteran Adam Drury as he made his own Premier League return – but Gareth Bale spoilt the defender's big night as high-flying Tottenham plundered another three points with a 2-0 win at Carrow Road.
With 2011-12 ever-present Marc Tierney suffering a groin strain in training over Christmas, 33-year-old Drury took over the left-back reins for his first league appearance of the season.
Bale's second-half double was the least Spurs deserved for a controlled performance as they continued to put the two Manchester clubs under pressure at the top-flight summit.
But given his six-year wait for a return to Premier League action, Drury could take some consolation in getting involved this term – even though he has never felt out of manager Paul Lambert's squad.
'The team has been playing really well so I couldn't really argue with being out, but it was good to be back and if you get a chance you've got to try and do the best you can – and I think I did all right,' said Drury.
You may also want to watch:
'I've been in every squad and travelled to every game, and been involved in all of them in terms of going away. The gaffer hasn't left me out of it; I've been a part of it and he wouldn't have played me tonight if he didn't think I could do a job, so it was good to be involved.
'It was probably more nervous than I've been for a while, just because I haven't played or started a game for that long and obviously the expectation and you know who you're playing against.
- 1 Eagle-eyed plane spotter saves pilot's life
- 2 Former hunting lodge for sale for £1.695m with huge lake
- 3 Incredible aerial photos show scale of Latitude Festival
- 4 Never mind the limo - aspiring farmer rides tractor to prom night
- 5 Queues in Norwich as hundreds flock to cider and sausage festival
- 6 Park issues warning over bacteria which is toxic to dogs
- 7 Risk of flooding in parts of region as storms slowly move in
- 8 City confirm midfielder exit
- 9 City ready for Cantwell and Aarons end game
- 10 Man taken to hospital after cardiac arrest at beach
'But once I got out there you get through that and I enjoyed it – apart from the result.'
Tierney had an unblemished appearance record this season, but Drury proved it was well worth keep sharp on the sidelines after getting his late call.
'It was a bit touch and go to be honest,' added Drury. 'I didn't really know and it wasn't until we did a bit of training and Marc said he was no good that the gaffer said I was playing. You don't like to play because someone else is injured but if you get a chance you've got to do the best you can.
'It's hard when you haven't played games regularly because normally it takes three, four or five to get in the swing of playing. But it's just one of those things. You want to play in the Premier League and it was nice to play.
'It was a bit of a baptism of fire. When you look at the array of talent they've got, we knew it was going to be a tough game from the start. When you've got the likes of Van der Vaart, Bale, Adebayor – the list goes on.'
After a goalless first half, had Andrew Surman's free-kick drifted inside Brad Friedel's far post the story may have been different – but in the end, Spurs were full value for their win.
'I know we weren't battering them, but until they scored I thought we were well in the game and the first goal changed it,' said Drury.
'We weren't cutting them open but they had a lot of long shots and John Ruddy made a good save. I didn't think they had loads of clear cut chances and you never know when the game is like that, but then they went and scored, and they kept the ball waiting for another opening.'
City can switch their attention to Fulham's visit on New Year's Day before starting 2012 with a trip to Queens Park Rangers on Monday – and while the Cottagers and Rangers have their own quality players, they do not have a Bale at their disposal.
'He is right up there with the best players in the world, but that's what the Premier League is all about,' said Drury, who has spent more than 10 years at City. 'You are going to come up against the best players and that's what the whole point of being here is.
'I'm pretty tired – I'll sleep well, I think. There are a lot of games coming up in quick succession so you have to look after yourself the best you can.
'It will be a little bit of a different pressure, but Fulham had a great result the other day and you only have to look through their players. But we're the home team and the gaffer always sends us out to try and win games and that will be no different.
'It's been an unbelievable year and if we could top it off with any points at the weekend, that would be great.'