‘The club is eager to enter the Premier League’ - City midfielder knows the pressure is on
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Mario Vrancic pledges the best is yet to come at Norwich City after getting to grips with the Championship.
The cultured midfielder, by his own admission, struggled to adapt following his Bundesliga switch from SV Darmstadt.
But Vrancic aims to return to the Canaries in pre-season ready to play a leading role, to help improve on a mid-table finish under head coach Daniel Farke.
'It started off slowly for me, but then got better as the season went on,' he said. 'I was thrown by a hamstring problem and had to fight to get back into the team. From December on things went better, even though we had a lot of pressure.
'The club is eager to enter the Premier League and when we didn't go well during that time, the mood in the stadium was difficult.
'There is a lot more speed in the game than in Germany, mainly because there are hardly any interruptions for foul play.
'It is always back and forth and the season is very long with 24 teams in the league, and playing over Christmas.'
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Vrancic, speaking to German regional newspaper Wiesbadener Tagblatt, is loving life in England.
'I feel more mature there, you see a different country, you get to know a different mentality. And the football is really fun. When I came to Norwich, I was the first (German-based player) one. More came in the summer and the winter, now there are seven players.
'I have to help some of the other lads with the language, which is not good because I neglect my English, which was a really important reason for me to go to England. We train very hard, which maybe the English players were not used to with two training sessions per day.
'In everyday life, the English are much more relaxed than we are.'
The 28-year-old paid a flying visit recently to watch old club Darmstadt secure their Bundesliga Two status, after flirting with relegation. Vrancic, however, has no plans to cut short his stay, with a Carrow Road deal until at least 2020.
'I feel really comfortable so there is no reason to come back,' he said. 'It hurt me a lot when they were sliding deeper and deeper down the table a few months ago.
'I would not have expected that, just as I had not expected the same at SC Paderborn when I was there two years ago.
'Thankfully they did enough to save themselves.'